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Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled By Jesus Christ

Chapter Six

Gentiles Trusting Jesus

Prophecy - Isaiah 11:1 & 10
Fulfillment - Romans 15:12

In the above passage from Romans, Paul reminded us of the writings of Isaiah which foretold of the root or offspring of Jesse, our Lord Jesus Christ. He declared that Gentiles would seek Him and Paul added that not only would Jesus reign over Gentiles, but they would also come to trust in Him.

We should keep in mind that Paul was himself a Jew, a fact born out by Philippians 3:5 when he gave his credentials and listed his pedigree. Even though he was a Jew, God appointed him to be “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13) and inspired him to mention ancient prophecies about the Gentiles. As he preached the gospel of God’s grace, he was blessed to see the day when many of the Gentiles did come to trust in Jesus.

Though the Old Testament was predominantly about the Jews, there were numerous references and prophecies about the Gentiles. Let us look at Psalm 18:49 which says, “Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.” The word “heathen” is translated as “Gentiles” according to Romans 15:9. Other words were also changed such as “thanks” in Psalms becomes the means of “confessing” Him in Romans; but in both cases they sang God’s praises.

Another example is Deuteronomy 32:43; where Moses wrote, “Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.” The word “nations” is translated “Gentiles” as seen in Romans 15:10.

Again, we look at ancient writings and this time we shall consider Psalm 117:1, which reads, “O Praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people.” The word “nations” is again changed to “Gentiles” as recorded by Paul in Romans 15:11. According to Paul all these prophecies were fulfilled among the Gentiles. Thus, God has a people among the Gentile nations and as a Gentile, I am truly thankful.

Having established that God purposed a work among Gentiles, let us look at the connection between them and Christ. No doubt Isaiah was looking prophetically towards the dispensation of grace, when Gentiles as well as Jews, would be brought by the power of the Holy Spirit to put their trust in Jesus. Even though the gospel message was initially preached to the Jews (Matthew 10:5-6), it was eventually sent to the Gentiles (Matthew 28:19-20). Since the gospel was first preached to the Jews, the first believers were of course Jews. The scriptures tell us of Jews like Simeon, who rejoiced in seeing God’s promises fulfilled in Jesus. He took Christ in His arms and said, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32). Though a Jew, Simeon understood that Jesus would bless Gentiles too.

As Jesus began His public ministry, He called twelve Jews as His disciples and made them “fishers of men” (Mark 1:17). Even though some Jews believed Jesus was the Messiah, many others did not and eventually the gospel of Christ was preached among the Gentiles. When Peter was sent to the house of Cornelius (a Gentile), God made it clear to him that He had cleansed a people among the Gentiles as well as the Jews. (Read Acts 10).

Those transitional times are described in Acts 13:46-48. The Bible says,“Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” So Gentiles then received the gospel of grace and rejoiced, even as we do today.

It happened exactly as Isaiah had prophesied in Isaiah 9:2, when he said, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” That ancient scripture is even now being fulfilled in our day and in our lives. We have seen Jesus as the Light of the world (John 8:12). He has shined into our hearts and we have trusted in Him. The Holy Spirit quickened us (Ephesians 2:1) and put faith in us (Galatians 5:22) enabling us to trust in Christ. God could speak those prophetic truths with great certainty, because such results are the work of His sovereign grace.

Having seen that the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled, let us move on to explore some ways Gentiles have come to trust in Jesus. We shall briefly consider three ways Gentiles have come to trust Him. First, we have come to trust His words. You may remember that Jesus said, “... I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Is He indeed “the truth?” Of course, for He is the embodiment of truth and therefore He speaks the truth. As God, He cannot lie! Titus 1:2 says, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Titus 1:2). When Jesus spoke, He always declared the truth; an angel verified that fact at His resurrection. The angel said to the women who came to the empty tomb, “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay” (Matthew 28:6). Notice carefully the words “as He said.” Jesus said He would rise from the dead and He did what He promised.

When Paul was being transported to Rome, the ship on which he traveled was caught in a disastrous storm. When everyone despaired, God sent an angel to reassure Paul that no one would die as a result of the storm. The next day Paul comforted the other occupants of the ship with these words: “Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me” (Acts 27:25). Gentiles around the world have come to trust the words of Christ with the same conviction and assurance which Paul proclaimed. Indeed, Gentiles do trust in Jesus, finding comfort in all His words of promise.

Second, Gentiles have come to trust Jesus for our daily care. When caught upon the stormy seas, the disciples of our Lord trusted His power for their protection. You may remember the time Jesus was asleep in the hinder part of the ship, and when the disciples became afraid, they awoke Jesus (Matthew 8:23-27). He not only calmed their fears but the troubled sea also. Another time the disciples were on the sea at night and Jesus came to them walking on the water. The Bible tells us that for a short time Peter also walked on the water, but seeing the waves he became distracted and began to sink. Afraid, he called to Jesus, saying, “Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:30). Of course those men were Jews, but like them we have also come to trust His loving and gracious care.

Jesus says to Jew and Gentile alike, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). Paul certainly embraced those words and took them to heart when he said, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). The message is clear, apart from Christ we have no hope, but through Him the impossible becomes possible. Millions of Gentiles worldwide can attest to the fact that we trust Christ Jesus and rely upon His blessed care.

Third, and by far the most important of all is the fact that Gentiles trust Christ for their eternal needs. Our hope for heaven and glory completely rests upon Jesus and redemption through His shed blood (Ephesians 1:7). He is forever our only hope for salvation because the Bible says, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Paul put it this way: “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). Paul was convinced beyond doubt that he could entrust the care of his immortal soul to the very One Who died for his sins. What a blessed hope, a hope that is so much more than the dreams and imaginations of men’s minds. Our hope rests upon the sovereignty of God and the saving work of His amazing grace. God manifested His grace by Christ, through His shed blood and sacrificial death. Paul was inspired to write these glorious words: “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:9-10). What a hope we have in Christ! All around us in this ever changing world, Gentiles are trusting in an unchanging Saviour. Hebrews 13:8 says of Him, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Indeed, Gentiles do trust in Jesus for our eternal security.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow, that Jesus, the root of Jesse, did rise to reign over us Gentiles. Thank God for His trustworthy Son, our Lord and Saviour. If you really do trust Him today, then you have already felt the peace and joy that He brings to mortal life. There is no One more deserving of our trust than Jesus. Let us show the world just how much we trust Him, by committing our lives to His service. May we manifest our trust in Christ by obeying the commandments given in His Word. Rejoice, we really can trust Him! Amen

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This page last updated on November 1, 2015