“And he says,
“It is trivial for you to be a servant for me,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to bring back the preserved of Israel.
I will give you as a light to the nations,
to be my salvation to the end of the earth.””
(Isaiah 49:6 LEB)
Notice the last phrase, “THE END OF THE EARTH.”
This passage is directly about Jesus, God’s servant who would redeem and save His people. However, take special notice how both the apostle Paul and Jesus Christ use this passage of Scripture. They both quote it in the book of Acts, and both use it to refer to the church and not merely about Jesus. That is, Jesus through His redeemed church, will shine the Father’s salvation to the end of the earth.
“For so the Lord has commanded us,
‘I have placed You as a light for the Gentiles,
That You may bring salvation to THE END OF THE EARTH.’”
(Acts 13: 47 LSB)
Paul says that God commanded him and his ministry team, on the basis of Isaiah 49:6 to preach the gospel to all who will listen. How can this be, if the passage was about Jesus. The church is one body with Jesus. Jesus prays in John 17, in more than one way, that as the Father and Jesus is one, that the church be made one in Jesus. Jesus working through the Church, is Jesus working.
Next, we will see how Jesus command this passage for all disciples, and then ‘how’ this will happen.
“But [Jesus] said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has set by His own authority;
but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to THE END OF THE EARTH.”
(Acts 1:7-8 LSB)
Jesus say it is by the baptism of the Holy Spirit that his followers will fulfill His command to expand His light to the end of the earth. In the next chapter, when the Baptism of the Spirit arrived, the Apostles only made up a small percentage. Thus, we are shown His baptism and command extends to all Jesus followers.
Three things. One, this gives proof that baptism of the Spirit is for all, for Jesus connects TO THE END OF THE EARTH kingdom expansion to the baptism of the Spirit.
Second, as long as this command stands, to obey God by expanding His salvation to the ends of the earth, the baptism of the Spirit still stands.
Third, without the baptism of the Spirit, one cannot obey this command to shine God’s salvation to THE END OF THE EARTH.
Matthew 4 shows something similar. Isaiah 9 is quoted about a light shining in Capernaum. Well, what happened in Matthew 4 and in Capernaum? Jesus is led by the Spirit to be tempted and filled by the Spirit for ministry. Jesus started His ministry only after He was empowered by the Spirit. Jesus said that He cast out demons by the “power of the Spirit” and not merely by His Son of God authority. After this anointing of the Spirit for ministry, Jesus goes to Capernaum to (1) preach repentance and to (2) heal the sick. It is in this context that Isaiah is quoted by saying a “Great Light has Dawned.”
Thus, Jesus Christ “great light shining” is summed up with being empowered by the Spirit, preaching and healing the sick. Jesus’ command for His redeemed followers is the exact same thing. They are commanded to be baptized in the power of the Spirit, to preach and heal the sick.
The same thing He did, and the same way He did it.