Okay, maybe not all of these will surprise you… but you may not be aware of some of the reasons why Jesus veiled himself in flesh and entered our world.
He came to die for our sins, you might think. Or, He came to teach us to love each other.
I recently did a quick read through the red words in the gospels (things Jesus said directly).
Together with some thoughts from the epistles, it’s really interesting to note what the Bible actually says about the purpose of Jesus coming to our world. Ready? Here’s why:
- To preach the good news of the Kingdom of God (Luke 4:43)—Jesus came with a news flash – an arresting, gracious invitation to join the invisible, real, and eternal Kingdom of his Father.
- To seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10) – that’s all of us, until we are found in him. (In John 14:6, Jesus also said he was the only way to the Father.
- To bring a sword, not peace. (Matthew 10:34) — Ummm … what? Yes, that’s right; contrary to preaching peace and tolerance, Jesus forewarned us that the choice to follow him causes division. Not content to leave us lulled into false serenity, Jesus takes the sword of truth.to our souls –and even our relationships – to cut away falsehood.
- To serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:27, 28) –Jesus demonstrated humility and put our needs ahead of his own survival, purchasing our redemption with his blood.
- To do the will of him who sent him, lose nothing of all that the Father has given him, and raise it up on the last day (John 6:38, 39) – When we are rescued by Christ, the work is complete and secure forever. Even believers’ bodies will be resurrected.
- For judgment, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind (John 9:39) –We tend to think all judgment is wrong, but Jesus came for judgment as well as for rescue. If we insist that we are okay without his help, that’s on us.
- That we might have life, and life abundantly (John 10:10) – In contrast to the devil, who comes only to steal and kill and destroy, Jesus came to give us an overflowing, real, eternal, fully-alive kind of life.
- To rescue us and glorify the Father’s name (John 12:27-28) –Jesus refused to rescue himself so that he could rescue us. He was more interested in glorifying his Father’s name than in self-preservation.
- To bear witness to the truth (John 18:37) – Jesus said that everyone who is of the truth listens to his voice. Not “your truth” or “my truth” – just truth, take it or leave it. As John Stonestreet of the Chuck Colson Center for Worldview puts it, “The story of the gospel is the true story, whether we believe it or not.”
- To destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8b) — The devil’s nature is to sin and entice others into sin, making it look like freedom. Jesus came to destroy that evil work so we could be free not to sin.
There you have it. Jesus did come to pay for our sins by his death on a cross, and he did say our love for one another demonstrates that we are his followers.
But the gospel is an even bigger story than that.
Which of these reasons that Christ came to earth are a surprise to you?
To comment, click on title.