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.