Why Did Jesus Come to Earth
"The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." NKJ Luke 4:18-19
Why did Jesus come? The answer to this question has seemingly evolved over the two thousand years since He came. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. He is the King who has come to set up His kingdom. This is what scripture declares! But, somewhere along the way, the Savior King has been turned into a social justice warrior fighting for the plight of the oppressed and downtrodden of society, the great hope to usher in social reforms and world peace. It is quite possible that as people are delivered from their sins, especially political leaders, that social reform would happen as in some of the great revivals and awakenings of the past. There are possibly some texts that seem to indicate that social reform is the goal of Christ’s ministry, one of the most famous being Matthew 25:31-46. Some of us like to take the scriptures and read them with our own interpretation, bringing in our preconceived ideas of what the text really means, without looking at the context or the whole of scripture – we call this eisegesis. Exegesis is the opposite, using basic tools like context, author’s original purpose for writing, cultural and historical analysis, etc. to discern what Holy Spirit is really saying through His word. In the Luke 4 passage above, using eisegesis, Jesus came only for the poor and brokenhearted, the captives, the blind and oppressed. See! It’s all about social justice! But, when Isaiah prophesied this in Isaiah 61, is that what his message was really about? The Jews were exiled to Babylon and suffering terrible persecution. The reason for their exile was their continued disobedience to Yahweh. They were sinners in captivity to sin, in desperate need of a deliverer and redeemer. They were continually suffering the consequences for rebellion against their God. Although they may have been poor captives in the land of Babylon, their real problem was their poverty of spirit, helpless and powerless to free themselves from this sinful nature that kept bringing them into bondage, and brokenhearted over the endless cycle they kept finding themselves in. Jesus would shed His light on their condition and remove the spiritual blindness that kept them in captivity if they would just embrace Him as their Messiah. The truth is that we are all oppressed by the enemy of our souls, even Satan, blinded by the darkness of sin, and held captive by its power over us until we believe in Christ and His atoning sacrifice. Our faith in Christ sets us free from the power of sin when we are regenerated through the cross by the Spirit of God. This is the good news that the gospel texts declare. So, in declaring Isaiah 61, Jesus is not promising social reform, but salvation and deliverance from the power of sin and its effects. He is also declaring as Isaiah did, a future glory when Jesus is King in His kingdom and redeemed sinners are freed once and for all.
In answering the question, “why did Jesus come?”, we need go no further than the very words of the Master Himself. He has told us why He has come. The first reason is because He was sent by the Father on a mission to redeem and save a people for His name. There are just too many texts to cite on this issue, but John’s gospel is replete with such statements as, “the Father sent me”.
I have collected a list of texts with the line “I have come” (or I came), which reveals some rather interesting conclusions. I leave you with Jesus’ own reasons for coming. Meditate on them this week and proclaim them loudly as the truth behind the Christmas story.
- To do the Father’s will by saving all those the Father has given Him: "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.” NKJ John 6:38-39 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. NKJ John 8:42
- To fulfill the Old Testament scriptures: " Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. NKJ Matthew 5:17
- To call sinners to repentance: "But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." NKJ Matthew 9:13; Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32
- To Bring Division on the Earth – to separate even family members: " Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. "For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; NKJ Matthew 10:34-35; Luke 12:51
- To preach the good news: But He said to them, "Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth." NKJ Mark 1:38
- To bring fire on the earth: "I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! NIV Luke 12:49
- To seek and save the lost: "for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." NKJ Luke 19:10
- To give life to the world:
- "For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." NKJ John 6:33 "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world." NKJ John 6:51
- "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. NKJ John 10:10
- For Judgment: And Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind."
- For Light in the world: "I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. NKJ John 12:46
- To save the world: "And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. NKJ John 12:47
- As a ransom: "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." NKJ Mark 10:45
- To reveal Himself as King: Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." NKJ John 18:37
- To preach the kingdom of God: but He said to them, "I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent." NKJ Luke 4:43
- To Die: " Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour. NKJ John 12:27
This is the truth of the Christmas story,