A Light to the Gentiles, Glory to Israel

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The Salvation that comes to the world for all peoples will have a different impact on these peoples when it is received.

This is the eighteenth post in the series The Musical That Changed The World.

As Simeon has just praised God for this child which represents God’s salvation that has been prepared in the presence of all nations and peoples, he does recognize that how this salvation works out has some difference between different people groups.

“…a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”
Luke 2:32 ESV

templeFor the Gentiles, this salvation is a different experience than it was for the Jews. The Gentiles have never seen salvation in their idols and pagan worship, and so this coming of Christ will be a light that reveals God’s salvation to them. Even though it’s been prepared in their presence, their eyes were dark and unable to see it for what it was. Zechariah used the same light metaphor in his song when he called the Messiah the rising sun that pierces the darkness.

For the nation of Israel this salvation that comes through this child will be glory to them as a people. Why glory? Because they have been the people through whom God prepared this salvation in prophecies, promises, and pictures found in their ceremonies, festivals and religious practices.

Paul speaks of this in his letter to the Romans:

They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
(Romans 9:4-5 ESV)

The Jews already had this light of revelation in the Old Testament era, and they were ridiculed and persecuted for their worship of God. But now they will be vindicated as the Gentiles receive the light of revelation which leads them to embrace this very same God.

Read the previous post Prepared In The Presence of All Peoples

See the index of the series The Musical That Changed The World.

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