Posted by: Heather | August 22, 2011

Jeremiah, Prophet to the Nations

The Lord ordained Jeremiah to be “a prophet to the nations” in Jer. 1:6. What a rich epithet.

The pdf Chris Wright’s “Missional Reflections on the Book of Jeremiah” is a thorough study of Jeremiah’s role as it relates to our role as believers and G-d’s plan for the whole world.

Spoiler alert!

G-d desires that none should perish but that all should come to repentance. Surprise!

But it’s not really a surprise so much as something easily overlooked, quickly forgotten, and often ignored.

Here is Wright’s own outline with my summary statements in parentheses:

1. The missional framework of the biblical narrative

(G-d has a plan for all mankind.)

  a. Jeremiah sees the purpose of Israel’s election and covenant

(G-d has a plan for Israel within His plan for all mankind.

Read Wright’s interpretation of the linen belt.)

  b. Jeremiah exposes the reality of failure and judgment

  c. Jeremiah holds out the hope of the new covenant restoration

(Yes, the renewed covenant is with Israel… and the whole world.)

  d. Jeremiah envisages the resultant blessing of the nations

      i. The nations as witnesses

(Israel’s history is instructive theater for the rest of the world.)

    ii. Any nation can be the recipient of [the Lord’s] mercy, as well  as judgment

      iii. [The Lord] offers to the nations the same promise of restoration

      iv. The nations will one day come to worship [the Lord].    

2. The missional purpose of the texts

  a. Rejection of idolatry and return to radical monotheism

(These two points have always been at the heart of the gospel.)

  b. Challenge to ethical change

(Time to accept the laws, statutes, and judgments of the L-rd!)

  c. The impact on the nations

(Had Israel mended her ways, the L-rd’s righteousness

shining through her would have testified to the nations.)

3. The missional locatedness of the reader

  a. Reading Jeremiah today

(Here is a list of parallels between his days and ours–a must read.)

  b. Reading Jeremiah with the exiles

(Best line paraphrase: Jeremiah is not there to tell

the Israelites “I told you so” but “I told you why.”

Wright here also tells us how to live in the exile,

which we are in if we are believers in Yeshua.)

4. The missional cost to the messenger

(This was not a thrill a minute for Jeremiah.)

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