Updated: May 17, 2019
By Peter McArthur
We are told in the Word that the reason John the Baptiser came was to reveal the Messiah Jesus to the nation of Israel.
“On the morrow, John sees Jesus coming toward him and said, Behold! The Lamb of God, taking away the sin of the world! This is He about whom I said, After me comes a Man who has been before me, for He was preceding me. And I did not know Him; but that He be revealed to Israel, for this reason I came baptizing in water.” John 1:29-31
It’s interesting to note how the ministry of the Lord Jesus is a re-run of John’s ministry in the early stages. For instance, John’s first message was “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand” (Matt 3:2). Some of Jesus’ earliest recorded words of His ministry were identical (Matt 4:17 ).
Then we have John coming out of the desert (Mk 1:4 ), and Jesus going into the desert (Mk 1:12 ). There is an identification and link here, and just as John’s purpose was to reveal, so too we can expect that Jesus of course would do much revealing.
In mainstream church teaching THE reason that Jesus came is given as “to save us” – or variations on the same theme (deliver us, free us, forgive us, restore us to the Father, etc.) All are valid, but simply don’t do justice to the wide breadth of WHY HE CAME.
In fact by talking about “why He came” may give us the wrong end of the stick. The scriptural focus is more on the idea that Jesus was sent! There’s a world of difference. When we speak of why Jesus came we are seeing it from an earthly perspective: He came to us. But when we speak of Jesus being sent we are then talking about it from a heavenly perspective. He was sent from the Father’s presence as part of the Father’s purpose. Can you see the important difference?
One is an earthly perspective; the other a heavenly view point. One is man’s perspective, the other is the Father’s. It’s this latter one that is the most common in Scripture. Look at these verses about Jesus being sent.
Matt 10: 40 “The one who receives you receives me, and the one who receives me receives the one who sent me.”
Mk 9: 37 “Whoever welcomes a child like this in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”
Luk 4: 43 “I have to proclaim the good news about the kingdom of God in the other cities also, for that is what I was sent to do.”
Luk 9: 48 “Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.”
Jhn 5: 36-38 “But I have a greater testimony than John’s, for the works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. Moreover, the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his appearance, nor do you have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe in the one whom he sent.“
Jhn 6: 29, 39 and 57 “Jesus answered them, This is the work of God: to believe in the one whom he has sent.” “And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything that he has given me, but should raise it to life on the last day.” “Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will also live because of me. ”
Jhn 7: 28-29 “At this point Jesus, still teaching in the temple, shouted, “So you know me and know where I have come from? I have not come on my own accord. But the one who sent me is true, and he is the one you do not know. I know him because I have come from him and he sent me.”
Jhn 8: 18 “I am testifying about myself, and the Father who sent me is testifying about me.”
Jhn 14: 24 “The one who does not love me does not keep my words. The word that you hear is not mine, but comes from the Father who sent me.”
Gal 4: 4 “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law.”
1 Jhn 4: 9 “This is how God’s love was revealed among us: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him.”
1 Jhn 4: 14 “We have seen for ourselves and can testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world.”
So now let’s look at the 16 Biblical reasons the Word gives for “why Jesus was SENT”.
1. To save His people from sin
“And she will bear a son and you shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.” Matt 1:21
“Save” = here the word means to deliver and protect, to heal and preserve; to make whole
2. To proclaim
“And He said to them, Let us go into the neighbouring towns that I may proclaim there also. For it was for this I came forth.” Mk 1:38
“Proclaim” = this word means to herald a divine truth; to declare good news; to show good tidings
“But He said to them, It is right for Me to proclaim the gospel, the kingdom of God, to the other cities, because for this I was sent.” Luk 4:43
“Proclaim” = it means to herald a divine truth; to declare good news; to show good tidings
3. To save the lost
“For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.” Matt 18:1
“Save” = means to deliver and protect (literally or figuratively); heal; preserve; do well; to make whole.
“Lost” = the word means perish; to be lost; ruined; destroyed.
4. To stop us from perishing, and to have everlasting life
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jhn 3:16
“Perish” = this word means to destroy fully; to lose; to destroy; die; mar; to put out of the way entirely; abolish; put an end to ruin.
5. To give us life abundantly
“The thief does not come except that he may steal, and kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life and may have it abundantly.” Jhn 10:1
“Life” = the state of one who is possessed of vitality; the absolute fullness of life which belongs to God.
“Abundantly” = superior; super-abundant; may keep on having; exceeding abundantly above; more abundantly; exceedingly; very highly; beyond measure.
6. To be light
“I have come a light to the world, that everyone who believes into Me may not remain in the darkness.” Jhn 12:46
“Light” = the word means to make manifest, to reveal, especially by rays.
“Remain” = this means to continue; abide; to endure; stay in.
7. Not to judge but to save the world
“And if anyone hears My Words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come that I might judge the world, but that I might save the world.” Jhn 12:47
“Save” = this means to save; deliver and protect (literally or figuratively); heal; preserve; do well; to make whole. In the Greek the word “save” here means THE purpose why He came.
8. To deliver us
“…who gave Himself for our sins, so that He might deliver us out of the present evil age,according to the will of our God and Father…” Gal 1:4
“Deliver” = this important word means to choose and tear out; select; rescue; pluck out; to root out.
“…and to await His Son from Heaven, whom He raised from the dead, Jesus, the Onedelivering us from the coming wrath.” 1 Thess 1:10
“Delivering” = the idea of a current of water; caught up in a rush; to draw away to rescue.
“Coming wrath” = that given by a judge; the wrath that is definitely coming.
9. To redeem and purify
“…who gave Himself on our behalf, that He might redeem us from all lawlessness and purify a special people for Himself, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:14
“Redeem” = this word means to release on receipt of a ransom; buy back what was originally owned; liberate; to release someone to oneself.
“Purify” = it means to purge; cleanse; to consecrate by cleansing; pronounce clean; to make free from defilement of sin or fault.
10. To confirm promises
“And I say, Jesus Christ has become a minister of circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises of the fathers.” Rom 15:8
“Confirm” = to make firm and establish; to make stand the Messianic promises.
11. To save sinners
“Faithful is the Word and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” 1 Tim 1:1
“Save” = to keep safe and sound; to rescue from danger or destruction; to deliver and therefore to protect; to preserve and make whole; to reveal mercy and restore favour.
12. To take away THE sin (literally in the Greek)
“And you know that that One was revealed that He might take away our sins (THE sin),and sin is not in Him.” 1 Jhn 3:5
“Take away” = to lift away; to weigh anchor and sail away; to lift up and loose; to bear away; to take away by force; to take from another what is his; to remove what is attached.
“He has been manifested for putting away of sin through the sacrifice of Himself.” Heb 9:26
“Put away” = this means to set aside; to make void; to cancel; to cancel.
13. To destroy the devil’s work
“The one practicing sin is of the devil, because the devil sins from the beginning. For this reason the Son of God was revealed, that He might demolish the works of the devil.” 1 Jhn 3:8
“destroy” = loosen; break up; destroy; to dissolve into parts something that is solid and compacted; unloose; put off; overthrow; to demolish.
14. To give understanding
“And we know that the Son of God has come, and He has given to us an understandingthat we may know the true One…” 1 Jhn 5:20
“Has given” = this exciting word means to give something to someone solely for his advantage; to bestow upon another; to grant.
“Understanding” = to see through a thing; to exercise deep thought not in relation to any new faculty of understanding but rather new light of truth about Him – AND to exercise it!
15. To abolish death
“But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who has abolished death…” 2 Tim 1:10
“Abolish” = it means to render entirely useless; bring to nothing; vanish away; to make void; to be done away with; to make of no effect; to annul; to take away the power of.
16. To be the propitiation
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be a propitiation relating to our sins.” 1 Jhn 4:10
“Propitiation” = to appease; conciliate to one’s self; Christ being the manner by which reconciliation is made to God the Father through the sacrifice on the cross.
All these texts provide a broad and expansive number of reasons “why Jesus was sent”. It would do us well to declare and teach ALL these truths when we evangelize or witness to others.
The simple statement of saying to the unsaved that “Jesus came to save us”, or similar words, is not at all totally biblical, nor helpful. Let us be more accurate, and more biblical in what we declare to be the reason/s for the revealing of the Messiah to mankind.
The Issachar Ministry