Isaiah 42:6–7 (MEV): I the Lord have called You in righteousness,
and will hold Your hand,
and will keep You and appoint You
for a covenant of the people,
for a light of the nations,
to open the blind eyes,
to bring out the prisoners from the prison,
and those who sit in darkness out of the prison house.
This Servant is now being identified in another unique way. He is being given the same identity as Israel. The nation was called in righteousness, with the sure promise of God to uphold and defend it. It was given a covenant and a particular calling. These things are established beginning in Exodus chapter 19.
Exodus 19:5–6 (MEV): Now therefore, if you will faithfully obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My special possession out of all the nations, for all the earth is Mine. And you will be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.
These are God’s words to Moses which he was to deliver to the people. Israel is to be a light to the nations. Priests are the ones who make God known to people, they intercede. This peculiar kingdom of priests was called to be a witness to all nations of the goodness of God.
Deuteronomy 7:6 (MEV): For you are a holy people to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be His special people, treasured above all peoples who are on the face of the earth.
Deuteronomy 14:2 (MEV): For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a peculiar people to Himself, treasured above all the nations that are on the earth.
The intertwined calling of the Chosen Servant is applicable to the nation Israel. As prophecy is given to us as patterns, the calling of the nation Israel serves as a pattern for the Messiah. He would ultimately fulfill the mission the nation failed at. Jesus is the True Israel.
This is purposeful, in the earliest texts that tel the history of Israel.
Exodus 4:22b (MEV): Israel is My son, even My firstborn.
The calling of Israel is extended to Jesus by by another prophet.
Hosea 11:1 (MEV): When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son.
The way Israel is called by God serves as a pattern to identify the Coming Messiah.
Not so unexpectedly, I find a particular peculiarity in this pronouncement of the Chosen Servant. As the One called to open blind eyes, heal the sick, and release captives, this is the calling of priests. Israel is a kingdom of priests.
Yet we know they were blinded in their own pride. Some couldn’t recognize the Messiah. The most likely cause, an errant identity. The nation identified in their calling and not the One Who called them. Even when He spoke clearly of Who He is.
Luke 4:16–21 (MEV): He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day. And He stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. When He had unrolled the scroll, He found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
because He has anointed Me
to preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted,
to preach deliverance to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed;
to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Then He rolled up the scroll, and He gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all those who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
We see all of these things fulfilled in Jesus’ ministry on earth by His own words. Jesus would build His church and give to them all of the privileges of service extended to the nation Israel. It would be another body identified solely in Him. But would mean the nation Israel would be set aside for a time.
Romans 9:3–5 (MEV): For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brothers, my kinsmen by race, who are Israelites, to whom belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises, to whom belong the patriarchs, and from whom, according to the flesh, is Christ, who is over all, God forever blessed. Amen.
There is a different body that has been grafted into these privileges through Jesus. It is the body that does those things cited by the prophet Isaiah as part of the identity of the Chosen One.
That is how the church is now called elect… Chosen… To serve God in a peculiar way. It is to shine the light of Jesus to all nations.
We see clearly that the call of election is not to salvation, nor would salvation be limited to a group of people. It was the calling to a peculiar appointment of service to God.