“The Good News”
Brian McLaren, in his book A Generous Orthdoxcy says, “Remember in a pluralistic world, a religion is valued based on the benefits it brings to its nonadherents. [T]he gospel brings blessings to all, adherents and nonadherents alike."
In Isaiah 56, the writer is reminding his readers that God’s blessings also extend to those people who were not born Jewish. I think it is safe to say that the Jews in Old Testament times felt they were the only ones who could experience God’s blessing because they were God’s chosen people. They had forgotten that God had told Abraham that he would not only be blessed, but that he would be a blessing to other nations. They had forgotten that God called them to be a royal priesthood so that God’s salvation would extend to the world. In other words, God’s election for Israel was for the purpose of extending grace to the world. As verse three indicates, “God’s blessing is for Gentiles too, when they commit themselves to the Lord.”
Brian McLaren poses as a real challenge to us as Christians because we tend to fall into a similar line of thinking as the Jewish people of the Old Testament did. We sometime get into the mindset that our election and salvation is only for our benefit. We see the church as being the only ones capable of receiving God’s blessing. This passage reminds us that our salvation should change the world because we are sharing God’s love with the world. Therefore, the good news is that God wants to bless everyone. As Isaiah 52:7 says, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!” Remember, the gospel brings blessings to everyone