In her own strength, Israel has been incapable of enlightening those who are spiritually blind to the truth, and freeing those who are in spiritual bondage, as is her destiny.
Nevertheless, Yeshua fulfilled this destiny perfectly.
Through Isaiah, God tell us that the Messiah will not only restore the tribes of Jacob (Israel), but He will also be a light for the Gentiles, bringing salvation to all the peoples of the earth:
“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.” (Isaiah 49:6)
This theme of light shines in the Brit Chadashah (New Testament); for instance, when Yeshua was born, it was prophesied that the Child would be “a light of revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of Your people Israel.” (Luke 2:32)
Later, Yeshua confirmed that He was the promised Light:
When Yeshua spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
Word of God and Light of the World
“I am the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6)
In the book of John in the Brit Chadashah (New Covenant), we hear the echo of the creation story found in this Torah portion.
“In the beginning [Bereisheet] was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made…. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:1–3, 14)
Yeshua, who is the promised Light of the World, is also the Living Word of God.
The first epistle of John skillfully weaves together the ideas of creation, life, light, and the Word:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.… This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:1–5)
Yeshua was present even from the very beginning of time. Despite His transcendence, He humbled Himself and lived among us in our broken, dark, sinful world.
The Book of Revelation says that when God destroys this present earth and creates a New Jerusalem, there will be no need for the sun and moon and stars to illuminate the city, for Yeshua will be its light:
“But I saw no Temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its Temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light.” (Revelation 21:22–24)
Yeshua is the aleph (alpha) and the tav (omega), the beginning and the end. He is the light at the beginning of creation and the light at the end. He was, is and will forever be the Light for all who seek Him.
“You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)
Although Isaiah is clear that the Messiah will redeem Israel and be a Light to the Gentiles, many Gentile Believers have been taught that because Israel failed in their mission to be His light to the Gentiles and rejected Yeshua, God is finished with her and that all of His promises regarding Israel have been transferred to the Christian Church.
This errant doctrine is called Replacement Theology.
Nothing could be further from the truth, however. God is not finished with Israel.
Bible prophecy concerning Israel will be completely fulfilled. We have and will increasingly see evidence of this in these end times.
Israel’s high vocation will be fulfilled as God’s witness, as written in this Haftarah, to reveal the One True God to the world:
“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me no god was formed, nor will there be one after Me.” (Isaiah 43:10)
In fact, Revelation spotlights 144,000 of all the tribes of the children of Israel playing a key role in witnessing to the world at the time of the end. (Revelation 7:4)
These Jewish Believers are distinguished from the great multitude of Gentile Believers that go through the Tribulation period.
They are redeemed from the earth as the firstfruits of all Believers, sealed with the name of the Father and the Lamb of God (Yeshua HaMashiach) on their foreheads.
“And they follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” (Revelation 14:1–5)