In this sermon, Pastor Neil continues his series on Travels with Jesus. Here is more on why Jesus came and who He is. Here are some excerpts:
…Jesus answered [the question of why He came when] He read from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah that day in the synagogue at Nazareth:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom to the prisoners
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
This is the reason Jesus came. This was and is His mission. This was and is His life’s purpose. There are other places in Scripture, other occasions when Jesus gives different, complementary answers to the question of why He came. In Matthew 20:28 and Mark 10:45, for example, Jesus says that He – “the Son of Man” – “did not come to be served” by others “but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Jesus came not to rule and exercise power in the world’s way but to be a servant who would ransom many from their sin and guilt. Including you and me
Here is another example: In John 10, where Jesus identifies Himself as the Good Shepherd who will lay down His life for His sheep (John 10:11-18), He also says: “I have come that they” – my sheep – “may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). The Message expresses it this way: “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” You and I are included in the “they” in that verse…
…One more example from the New Testament, this one not from Jesus Himself but from John the apostle in 1 John 3:8: There John says: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” As The Message puts it: “The Son of God entered the scene to abolish the devil’s ways.” It is true, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, that not everything has yet been put under the feet of Jesus in final defeat (15:25-28).
But the final defeat of the devil is absolutely guaranteed by the cross of Christ and the empty tomb. For this reason, as we read in Hebrews 2, “Since the children” whom Jesus came to save “are made of flesh and blood … the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue (us) by His death. By embracing death, taking it into Himself, (Jesus) destroyed the devil’s hold on death and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death” (2: 14-15, MSG).
Why did Jesus come? As He said to the congregation at the synagogue in Nazareth: