“As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bones shall flourish like the grass; and the hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants, and he shall show his indignation against his enemies.” (Isaiah 66:13-14)
In this week’s Lectionary readings we are reminded that the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ is good news offered to all people, not just the Jews. The prophet Isaiah states this openly as he praises God for His great blessings upon His people. He speaks of the great comfort and peace that the Messiah would bring to His people. He also prophesies that these blessings are extended to the Gentiles as well. They will praise God because of Israel, because of the testimony of God’s people, but primarily because of the Messiah who would make God’s peace and blessings available to all.
In the Gospel reading from Luke, we find Jesus delivering a similar message in the form of a warning to the Chosen people. He is aware that the Jews would reject Him and His offer of salvation. He adds, in a rather vehement and graphic manner, that the Gentiles would accept the peace He brings while the Jews would not. They would receive the blessings while the nation of Israel would not.
The point is summed up by Paul in Galatians: God will not be mocked. All men and women must accept His agenda. It is the best way and the one which glorifies God while blessing mankind. His way of bringing peace to the world is by faith in the work of Christ. Those who reject God’s way suffer the consequences: separation from Him in Hell for all eternity. We believers have been commissioned to bring this gospel to all people, not just those we like, or those who are of our own social, ethnic or racial background or political leanings. We must accept God’s agenda as is and preach the Gospel to all.