The Light to a Dark World
My pastor preached yesterday on the Luke 2:25-35 passage about the righteous man, Simeon, who had been promised he would not die until he had seen Christ. When Joseph and Mary came to present Jesus at the temple, Simeon takes the infant Jesus and blesses God. One of the things our pastor was trying to teach us was to divinely read Scripture. Read it slowly several times. Meditate on what you have read. Pray about what you have read. And then praise God. He had up on the screen Luke 2:30-32 and told us to read it slowly several times.
For my eyes have seen Your salvation,
Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES,
And the glory of Your people, Israel.
After we had done that he asked the congregation what words stuck out to them. Several people said, "For my eyes have seen Your salvation" and told why.
I didn't say anything. But what stuck out to me was "A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES." I was thinking in my mind of the specific words "light", "revelation" and "gentiles" and the entirety of Scripture.
And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon and those who swell in darkness from the prison.
O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me: let them bring me to Your holy hill and to your dwelling places.
It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.
The Jews interpreted these verses to be talking about the coming Messiah.
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."
Let's do a little annotation here. Who was Jesus talking to? The Pharisees. Who were the Pharisees? They were the teachers of the Law. They knew their Scripture. And what was their response to Jesus? Verse 13 tells us "You are testifying about Yourself; Your testimony is not true." They knew their sacred text said that the Messiah would be called the light. And here is Jesus saying He is the Light!
"While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world."
"I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness."
See also John 1:4,5,7-9; 3:19-21; 12:35,36/ Ephesians 5:8,9 ...
Jesus over and over again referred to Himself as the Light. The Jews knew exactly what he was claiming - that He was the Christ, the Messiah. Several New Testament verses refer to Jesus as the "Light."
Revelation simply means God revealing Himself to us. In other words, divine disclosure.
Scripture verses with the words "the revelation of Jesus Christ" are found 6 times in the New Testament in various books.
The word "Gentiles" simply means non-Jews/ foreigners. God had chosen a people, the Jews, to be His people and God revealed Himself to them. God made a covenant with Abraham and told him "And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed." (See Genesis 12:3.) In the Old Testament the Gentiles (non-Jews) were portrayed as being ignorant, in sin and in darkness because they did not know God. Isaiah 60:3 tells us: "Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising."
"... for salvation is from the Jews."
"and the repentance for forgiveness of sin would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem."
"AND IN HIS NAME THE GENTILES WILL HOPE."
Romans 3:29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,
A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES
Jesus revealed Himself to the rest of us. He did not come only for the Jews, but to save all of mankind. And the promises God had made to His people centuries earlier were fulfilled.
Jesus came to bring light to a dark world. For all to be blessed. For all who believe to be grafted in to His people. For the glory of His people Israel.
The Savior was given to the Gentiles also.
When I sat there in church reading Luke 2:30-32, I was again struck with how all of Scripture goes together. How God had a redemptive plan to reach me, to reach you. How from the very beginning there is one common thread wound throughout the biblical text.
That common thread from the first words in Genesis to the last words in Revelation is Jesus, our Savior and Lord. Praise God!