Why Jesus Came
I often ask people to provide the reason God sent His Son to this earth. The dominant answer I receive is that He came to die for our sins. Of course He came to die for our sins, but He came for so much more.
As the carpenter son of Joseph and Mary, Jesus spent thirty years in virtual anonymity on this planet. At the appointed time, He presented Himself to be baptized by John the Baptist. The Holy Spirit came upon Him, to equip Him for ministry, and His priesthood on our behalf began. He journeyed into the desert to do battle with Satan. Emerging victorious, Jesus re-entered civilization. He came to the synagogue in Nazareth, sat down, and opened the Scriptures to announce His ministry.
He did not read that He came to take away the sins of the world. He did not read that He came to open the gates of heaven on our behalf. He did not read that He came to conquer the grave. He did not even mention that He came to free us from the tyranny of the law.
Instead, He quoted the incredible words from Isaiah 61. He did not quote the entire passage, and I do not know why. For our purpose, I will quote it more fully. Even though what Jesus read clearly communicates His mission of comfort, I want you to gain a more complete understanding of the heart He has for us and the mission He has undertaken on our behalf.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon Me,
for the Lord has appointed Me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to comfort the brokenhearted,
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent Me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel,
He will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for His own glory. (Isaiah 61:1–3 NLT)
Do not pass quickly over those words. When Jesus announced His ministry, the sin issue was not at the forefront of His declaration. Instead, He proclaimed His ministry of compassion. He showed His heart to comfort the hurting and set free those in bondage. He affirmed that He came to minister through His presence and not just His promises, to offer Himself as the 'Blesser' and not just extend His blessings. He offered to enter our painful, devastated, broken, and shattered world so He could be all He is to all we need in the moment of faith. He offered us Himself, so we can find hope to journey in and through the traumas we have encountered in our lives.
I firmly believe that since He lives in us, to express Himself through us, that this is our supreme mission as well. Yes, we are to share the Gospel. Yes, we are to herald the grace of God. But we are not to function like attorneys, arguing our case to win a verdict. We are to love. We are to be so in touch with Jesus in our own lives, that the compassion He has for hurting people explodes out of our lives.
This world is full of hurting people. It is my conviction, that if we would function in compassion, we would be presenting to those hurting people the true heart of God. They would see the tenderness and mercy He has for them, through our compassion for them. And when they see that true heart of God, I believe they will want to know Him better. How could they not desire such a God, when their world is so void of kindness? And then, as they come to know Him better, I believe they will come to trust Him for their salvation, and also trust Him as the One Who will provide the strength to walk through their suffering.
This is the mission Jesus proclaimed when He first announced His ministry. Let it be our ministry as well, the ministry of compassion.
We launched Our Resolute Hope (ORH) with the goal of reaching people with the glory of the New Covenant. Our heart was to establish people in the finished work of Jesus, so they could experience and express the life of Christ in and through them. This is glory!
The book will launch in the early fall, and I am asking you to prayerfully consider being part of our launch team. Shortly before the book launches publicly, I will be sending you an email for you to participate in a pre-launch. In that email, I will advise you of a one-day pre-sale on Amazon. You will be able to purchase the book at a reduced price for that one day only.