For so the Lord has commanded us, “I HAVE PLACED YOU AS A LIGHT FOR THE GENTILES, THAT YOU MAY BRING SALVATION TO THE END OF THE EARTH.” - [quoted from Isaiah 49:6] Acts 13:47
Buckle your seatbelts! We are about to take a look at another surprising word in an amazing verse.
To set the scene, Paul and Barnabas are sharing the gospel with some Jews in Pisidian Antioch on their first missionary journey. They had a very positive reception from many of the Jews who listened. But there were also many of the leading Jews who rejected the message and started blaspheming. It is to those people that Paul quoted Isaiah 49:6.
The Jews understood that this verse primarily referred to the coming Messiah, who would come as a Light for the Gentiles (and not only for the Jews). But notice carefully what Paul says. He does not say, “For so the Lord has commanded Him (the Messiah). And further, Paul does not say, “For so the Lord has commanded me [Paul].” Paul boldly says, “For so the Lord has commanded us!” If we didn’t already know that Paul was speaking (and Luke, who wrote Acts, was writing) under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we would be tempted to condemn such a notion as presumptuous or even audacious.
The clear application for us is that God has “placed us” specifically to be instruments of His love through sharing the gospel with every person, both Jew and Gentile! Jesus Himself said to His disciples in the Sermon on the Mount, “you are the light of the world.” Yes, Jesus was the light which came into the world (John 1). You and I are now placed as a light for the nations, to bring salvation to the end of the earth!
How are you living out this high calling?
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