The Mission of Israel and of the Messiah in the Plan of God

Robert L. Thomas | August 25, 2009

God placed human beings, including the Messiah and the people of Israel, in His creation to fulfill a mission. The four Servant Songs of Isaiah (42:1-9; 49:1- 13; 50:4-11; 52:13; 53:12) summarize the mission of the Messiah as coming in two phases: a period of lowliness at the end of which He would die for the sins of His people and rise from the dead and a period of exaltation during which He would restore Israel’s land and provide salvation to all peoples. Features of the Servant’s first phase identify Him clearly as Jesus of Nazareth, with His second phase receiving full development in Daniel 7 as explained in Revelation. The mission of Israel has marked similarities to that of the Messiah, for example, the responsibility of witnessing to the nations. Israel has failed in her mission, however, and awaits a future restoration before she can fulfill her mission. That will come in her future kingdom when the Messiah returns. Israel also has a significant mission during the present age, illustrated by Jewish authorship of all but two of the NT books. Yet she is not presently fulfilling OT prophecies of her future role in the kingdom. The ultimate mission of all peoples will receive fulfillment in the new Jerusalem when they enjoy personal fellowship with God in bringing glory to Him.

Vol. 8, no. 2 (Fall 1997)

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Thomas, Robert L.. "The Mission of Israel and of the Messiah in the Plan of God." The Master's Seminary Journal 8, no. 2 (Fall 1997): 191-210.