Any good model of Jesus’ overall mission on Earth should take into account everything that he and his apostles said was the purpose for his coming. Though much more is said of Jesus and his mission (particularly in the Old Testament prophets), the following New Testament passages contain plenty to make my point: That a great many believers would be troubled to discover some of these things about Jesus, and that their eschatological (“end times” ) models do not take all the facts into account.
This list also serves as something of a checklist for us to survey whether we believe that Jesus has completed his tasks.
- To Preach the Good News of the Kingdom
Luke 4:22 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, 43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” 44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
Luke 4:18a The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
- To Proclaim Liberty to the Captives
Luke 4:18b He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
- To Proclaim Recovering of Sight to the Blind
Luke 4:18c He has sent me to proclaim … recovering of sight to the blind,
- To Set at Liberty the Oppressed
Luke 4:18d He has sent me to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
- To Proclaim the Year of the Lord’s Favor
Luke 4:18d He has sent me to … 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
- To Destroy the Works of the Devil
1 John 3:8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
- To Serve; To Give His Life as a Ransom for Many
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (See also Matthew 20:28)
- To Seek and Save Those Who Are Lost
Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.
- To Fulfill the Law
Matthew 5:17 Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
- That They Might Have Life
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
- To Bring a Sword
Matthew 10:34 Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
- To Bring Division
Matthew 10:35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
Luke 12:51 Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.
- To Do God’s Will
John 6:38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
- To Be Lifted Up
John 12:27 Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.
- As a Light
John 12:46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
- To Bear Witness to the Truth
John 18:37 For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
- As a High Priest of the Good Things
Hebrews 9:11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
- To Put Away Sin
Hebrews 9:26b But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
- To Take Away Sins
1 John 3:5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.
- To Cast a Fire on the Earth
Luke 12:49 “I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled!