Most of us Christians are not living in Israel, nor are we Jewish. In the Old Testament, God reveals Himself to Israel, and in the New Testament, God advances His plan by bringing His own Son to proclaim the Great Commission, that is, the spread of God’s redemptive plan to the entire world through faith in Christ as the one whom died for our sins on the cross and subsequently rose from the dead beyond the borders of Israel. Matthew’s Gospel documents the Great Commission Jesus proclaims after He rises from the dead, and uses it to end his Gospel.
Matthew 28:19-20: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Now, some may and have asked, if this was God’s original plan (that is, to use a line of prophets in Israel to pave the way for the advent of Jesus to bringing about the message of salvation to all the nations and people in the world), should it not be precedented in the Old Testament? Is this prophesied before Jesus comes along with His message? This soteriological question is answered in a number of important Old Testament texts, where God, while He is called the God of Israel, we are also made abundantly clear He is also the God of the Gentiles.
Here, I will produce the texts of the Old Testament (at least that I’m aware of) that speak of God’s blessings and salvations extending to the entire world, beyond the borders of the promised land and the people of Israel tracing their origins to Abraham (I found a number of them here). Perhaps the most explicit of these, with the most explicit connection to Jesus, is Daniel 7:13-14, the first of the prophecies that I will reproduce here.
Daniel 7:13-14: As I watched in the night visions, I saw one like a human being coming with the clouds of heaven. And he came to the Ancient One and was presented before him. 14 To him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship is one that shall never be destroyed.
Geneesis 12:3: I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Psalm 22:27: All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.
Isaiah 42:4: He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching.
Isaiah 49:6: he says, “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
Isaiah 56:3-7: “Don’t let foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord say, ‘The Lord will never let me be part of his people.’ And don’t let the eunuchs say, ‘I’m a dried-up tree with no children and no future.’ 4 For this is what the Lord says: I will bless those eunuchs who keep my Sabbath days holy and who choose to do what pleases me and commit their lives to me.5 I will give them—within the walls of my house—a memorial and a name far greater than sons and daughters could give. For the name I give them is an everlasting one. It will never disappear! 6 “I will also bless the foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord, who serve him and love his name, who worship him and do not desecrate the Sabbath day of rest, and who hold fast to my covenant.7 I will bring them to my holy mountain of Jerusalem and will fill them with joy in my house of prayer. I will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices, because my Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations.
Isaiah 60:1-3: Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.2 For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.3 Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Jeremiah 16:19-21: O Lord, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in the day of trouble, to you shall the nations come from the ends of the earth and say: Our ancestors have inherited nothing but lies, worthless things in which there is no profit.20 Can mortals make for themselves gods? Such are no gods!21 “Therefore I am surely going to teach them, this time I am going to teach them my power and my might, and they shall know that my name is the Lord.”
Zechariah 2:11: Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord on that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in your midst. And you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.
Malachi 1:11: For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.