A City on a Hill

In studying for my sermon today on Isaiah 49:1-7 and Matthew 5:13-16, I saw something I had never seen before: when Jesus calls His disciples a city on a hill, it seems likely that He doing more than merely stating that fact that cities on hills can’t be hidden; He is alluding to the grand prophecy of Isaiah 2/Micah 4, which depicts the nations streaming in to Mount Zion: “Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills, and all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.’ For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” That passage, says Jesus, is now fulfilled in His disciples. The church is the new Jerusalem, the heavenly temple of the Lord, the new city of cities. With the coming of Jesus the last days have dawned (cf. Acts 2:17), the kingdom has drawn near (though not in its fullness yet), and the nations are beginning to come to the Lord. May God hasten the full coming of His kingdom, so that we might see the full flowering of this great prophecy.



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