Translations: Chinese GB Big5

Light to the Gentiles

Isaiah 42:6,7
"I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.


The "you" here is the Lord Jesus Christ. For this prophecy was mentioned a couple of times in the New Testament with regards to his ministry. We notice first at his circumcision that Simeon mentioned this prophecy.
Luke 2:28-32 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
"Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel."
And Paul mentioned it when he transitioned his ministry to the Gentiles
Acts 13:47  For this is what the Lord has commanded us: "‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’"
Also alluding to it in his presentation to King Agrippa saying "that the Christ would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would proclaim light to his own people and to the Gentiles."

It is interesting in Acts 13:47 that when Paul read Isaiah 42:6,7 what he saw was a command. If Christ was to be a light to the Gentiles, then how are we holding him forth so that he may be seen?

He brings light in two ways. He brings an enlightened knowledge. "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." John 17:3 Eternal life is a reconciled relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It is not that he's the messenger of the covenant. Rather he himself is the covenant - the Mediator between man and God. But this New Covenant mentioned in Hebrews 8:10-12 saying:

"This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
The New Testament here is quoting Jeremiah 31 applying it not simply the Jews, but rather to Christians, both Jew and Gentile. But notice that this covenant is not simply about knowing God personally, nor is it only about the forgiveness of sins, but it also incorporated an enlightened behavior. This enlightened behavior is the effect of the sanctifying power of God in the lives of the believers. And so it must be. For salvation from sin incorporates not only forgiveness but also sanctification. These brought into effect by the grace of God through the mediation of Jesus Christ.

These are the two effects of the covenant:

open the eyes of the blind enlightened knowledge
free the captives enlightened behavior

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources