Thursday, October 30, 2014

Considerations: Life-giving Savior; Light-shining People

While I find it amazing that Jesus was presented as such a gentle Shepherd to his people, and continues to fulfill that prophecy in people’s lives to this day, it touches my heart that God’s invitation to know Jesus in that way of gentleness is intended to do something in his people as well. After telling us about Jesus’ gentleness to the “bruised reed,” and the “faintly burning wick,” he tells us this about his people:

“I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;
    I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
    a light for the nations,
   to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
    from the prison those who sit in darkness."
(Isaiah 42:6-7)

Because of what Jesus would be in fulfillment of God’s prophetic word, his people will be characterized by synonymous qualities of life and experience. God will give his people “as a covenant for the people” of the nations. He will make his people “a light for the nations.” He will send his people out so that we “open the eyes that are blind,” and we “bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,” and we “bring out… from the prison those who sit in darkness.”

This is why Jesus told his followers that we are “the salt of the earth,” even though he is the source of our saltiness; and we are the “light of the world,” even though he is the life that gives us light (Matthew 5:13-16). It is because he is the true vine, and his followers are his branches (John 15:1-8), through which his life is the light of men (John 1:4), causing the church to bear much fruit in the lives of others, all for the glory of the Father who is the source of all this life-giving, light-bearing work.

The work that Jesus has done, the work he finished on the cross, has now brought about a good work in his followers that gives them good works to do, just as he planned beforehand (Ephesians 2:10). Some of those planned ahead good works would look like giving light to the nations, opening the eyes that are blind, bringing prisoners out of their dungeons, bringing out of the prisons those who sit in darkness. Jesus came to do that, and prophesied that he would do it through his church, so, let’s watch for where he is working and join him in his work.

Or, as Paul stated it in the breathed-out by God, carried along by the Spirit, kind of way, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13).

© 2014 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, Canada, V1K 1B8 ~

Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)

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