Back from Montana and back to answering your question about the biblical basis for my understanding of “mission,” Elijah.
So far we’ve covered love, Eden, flood and fame, Abraham, Exodus through Ruth, Israel’s choice to replace God with a king, and the exiles. Now I’m doubling back to the book of Isaiah, written to the Southern Kingdom (Judah) before it was exiled to Babylon.
Jesus quoted the book of Isaiah more than any other. The passages He cited shed much light on His mission. The majority of passages Jesus quoted from Isaiah promise the arrival of a “suffering servant” who will reign as king and deliver/save not only Israel but all nations.
His deliverance/salvation will be holistic, characterized by:
- God’s presence
- return from exile
A few passages Jesus quoted from Isaiah:
The moon will be abashed, the sun ashamed;
for the LORD Almighty will reign
on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
and before its elders, gloriously.
– Isaiah 24:23
On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare
a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
the best of meats and the finest of wines.
“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him
and he will bring justice to the nations.
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners
More quoted passages: Isaiah 24:23; 25:6; 31:6; 40:10; 41:8,9; 42:1; 43:5, 10; 45:6; 49:12; 51:7,8; 53:1; 59:19; 60:20-22; 61:1
Describing God’s salvation/deliverance:
Beyond the portions of Isaiah quoted by Jesus, there is a great deal the prophet had to say about God’s future deliverance/salvation.
2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.
5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.
-Isaiah 9:2, 5-7
…with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
-Isaiah 35:5, 6
3 …In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
4 he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth…”
6 he says:
“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
17…I will make peace your governor
and righteousness your ruler.
18 No longer will violence be heard in your land,
nor ruin or destruction within your borders,
but you will call your walls Salvation
and your gates Praise.
More deliverance/salvation passages: Isaiah 9:1-7; 11; 24:14-25:12; 26; 31:1-32:20; 33; 35; 40:1-11; 42:1-44:8; 49; 51:1-52:12; 52:13-53:12; 54; 56; 60; 61; 62
Mission In Isaiah
Isaiah foresees a future king who will suffer the wrath of God for mankind’s sin and will deliver/save all nations from poverty, injustice, sickness, mourning, and exile from God and each other.