In this series of short studies will demonstrate definitively that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon Israel in the first century was proof that Israel’s Messianic restoration had begun, and would be fulfilled at the end of Israel’s Old Covenant age in AD70.
In part 1 which now follows, we will establish the fact that the receiving of the Holy Spirit by Jesus was a promise made to Old Covenant Israel, which signaled to them that their Messianic restoration had begun.
The Spirit upon Messiah – The Restoration of Israel
“Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry out or raise His voice nor make His voice heard in the street. A bruised reed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not be disheartened or crushed until He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law”.…. “I am the Lord, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, and I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations.
As we can see in the text, the anointing of the “Servant” (Messiah-Jesus) would mean that Israel was being restored. Below is the New Testament fulfilment of Isaiah 42. The fact that the writers of the New Testament tell us that this scripture was being fulfilled in their days, is undeniable proof that Israel was being restored in the first century – in the last days.
Isaiah 42:1-6 – Fulfilled in Luke 3:21-22 and Mathew 12:15-21
Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”
But Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. Many followed Him, and He healed them all, and warned them not to tell who He was. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “Behold my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased; I will put my Spirit upon him, and he shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles. “He will not quarrel or cry out; nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. “A battered reed he will not break off, and a smoldering wick he will not put pout, until he leads justice to victory. “And in his name the gentiles will hope.”
The word translated as “Gentiles” in Mathew 12:18 is from the Greek word “ethnos” which can refer to either the nations of Israel or the Gentile nations. The Hebrew word translated as “nations” in Isaiah 42 is “gowy”, this word can also refer to the nations of Israel or to the Gentile nations. (See Deuteronomy 32:8, Isaiah 11:2, Jeremiah 31:7, Jeremiah 36:2, and Ezekiel 37:22 for examples of “gowy” referring to the nations of Israel).
It is clear from the contexts of both Isaiah 42 and Mathew 12 that “gowy/ethnos” refers to both the nations of Israel and to the nations of the “world” (the Gentiles). It was to the nations of Israel that Messiah would “bring forth justice” by becoming “a covenant”, and to the Gentiles that Messiah would “be a light”.
Notice specifically that in Mathew 12 Jesus fulfills this prophecy in the context of healing a “sheep” of Israel (v.10-13) while the wolves (Pharisees) conspired how they might destroy him (v.14). Jesus was truly bringing forth justice in Israel.
One more powerful point concerning Isaiah 42. Isaiah 42 and Isaiah 49 are parallel texts. This has powerful implications for our study. Notice the parallels, there are more, but these few demonstrate the point.
In both texts the Servant is both a covenant to the peoples (Israel), and a light to the nations (the Gentiles).
“My Servant … I will appoint you as a covenant to the people and light to the nations…”
“My Servant… I will also make You a light of the nations.… And I will keep You and give You for a covenant of the people…”
Therefore, since Isaiah 42 and 49 are parallel texts, this means that Mathew 12:18-21 is not only the fulfilment of Isaiah 42, but is also the fulfilment of Isaiah 49. But notice, in Isaiah 49 the Servant of the Lord would “raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel” and would “restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages” (v.6).
No doubt about it, according to Mathew who penned his gospel by the inspiration of the Spirit, the anointing of the Messiah meant that the preserved ones (the remnant) of Israel was being restored to the land, and the land restored to them – in Jesus Christ.
This being the case, we have definitive proof that the restoration of Israel in the first century was not a national geo-political restoration to an earthly Davidic kingdom, but to life in covenant relationship in Jesus Christ.
Continued on Part 2…