January 4, 2018

Light to the Nations

Written by Tripp Prince

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 4, 2018

By Tripp Prince

Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles…And in his name the Gentiles will hope. Matthew 12:18, 21 (NRSV)

This week Christians around the world celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, a well-known and widely celebrated feast in many parts of the world, yet lesser known and even less frequently celebrated here in the United States. When we hear the word “epiphany,” I think we most frequently associate it with a great idea that comes to you suddenly and unexpectedly. An epiphany helps you move forward when you think you’ve reached a dead end and a shut door. Previous convictions and conclusions are cast into a new light as the impact of the epiphany unfolds.

The assumption in the Jewish community into which Jesus was born, was that God’s plan of salvation and redemption was a particularly Jewish hope and expectation. Israel, long suffering in bondage and exile, longed for God’s promises to come true, for him to right their wrongs and establish the work of their hands (Psalm 90:17).  Yet within these hopes and dreams there was little to no imagination that the promises given to them were to be extended to the whole of creation, and that they were chosen explicitly to join God in this expansive mission!

Though largely minimized and ignored, this vision of blessing the nations pops up from time to time in the Old Testament, and in Matthew’s gospel we see these words quoted from Isaiah and applied to the mission of Jesus. Through him justice will be proclaimed to the Gentiles, “and in his name the Gentiles will hope.” Christians associate this Epiphany celebration with the Magi, and see these wise men as representative of the nations coming to Jesus. It is the celebration of the ends of the earth drawing near to Jesus and finding in him hope, peace, and healing for the nations.

What was true over two thousand years ago is still true today. The nations long for hope, peace, and healing and search far and wide until they find it. Jesus continues to enter into the chaos and darkness of our world and shines his light for all to see. May we join the Magi and draw near to him afresh, offering our gifts of thanksgiving and praise and celebrate the light that shines for all to see!



Father, thank you that you spread your love to the whole of your creation, and that you invite me into your family through the gift of Jesus Christ your Son, the Light of the World. Amen.


How can you reach out to a non-Christian friend and invite them to consider the life that Jesus offers freely to them?

Related Reading

Psalm 96; Isaiah 49:1-7; Revelation 21:22-27

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