Jesus Christ left His home in heaven and came to earth in the form of a mere man (Phil. 2:6-7). He was born of a virgin as the scriptures had taught (Isaiah 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25). But the questions arise, Why? What was His purpose in coming in the flesh? Many might go into all kinds of deep analysis of the scriptures to answer the question, but why not just let Him tell us?
First, listen to a few of His explanations as to why He didn’t come. Jesus did not come to call the righteous to repentance. He said, “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:17). Neither did He come to be ministered to. Many religious leaders of today may well desire to be waited on hand and foot, but Jesus said, “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). He did not come to condemn the world. He said, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17). The world was already condemned by their own sins. Jesus did not come to bring peace on earth. Certainly there is peace in Christ that “passeth all understanding” (Phil. 4:7), but he said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword…” (Matt. 10:34). So, why did He come?
Jesus came because His Father sent Him and He always did that which was the will of the Father in heaven. In His prayer for His apostles He stated, “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world” (John 17:18).
Paul wrote, “When the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal. 4:4). Jesus said that he “came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38).
Secondly, Jesus said that He came to fulfill the old law. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy it, but to fulfill it” (Matt. 5:17). The old law had foretold the coming of a new law that would replace the old. Moses prophesied that Jesus would come with a new law (Deut. 18:15-19; Acts 3:20-24). Likewise, the Hebrew writer quoted the prophet Jeremiah concerning this new law (Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:8-13). Paul said that the old law was abolished by Jesus (Eph. 2:15) and nailed to the cross (Col. 2:14).
Jesus came to preach and to establish His kingdom. He once told the people who sought Him, “I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent” (Luke 4:43). After His baptism and temptation He “began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17). He told Pilate that to be king of His kingdom was the reason He was born. He said, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world” (John 18:36-37). He promised the apostles that he would build his church, which is His kingdom, and that He would give them the keys to that kingdom (Matt. 16:18-19).
Finally, Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. In the presence of Zacchaeus Jesus said, “This day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:9-10). He came to bring life to man. He said, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). He came to give His own life as a ransom to pay the price of the sins of man. He told His apostles, “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28).
There are a few other things He said he came to do. He came to judge the world (John 9:39). He came to bring a sword (Matt. 10:34), and possibly a few others. However, let us close with another question. The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus will come again (Acts 1:11; John 14:3). The question is: What will He come back for? Paul wrote to the Thessalonians saying, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thess. 4:16-17). And he also wrote, “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (II Thess. 1:7-9).
Robert Oliver is a long time columnist for The Sampson Independent.