As soon as I finished storing the leftover Thanksgiving turkey in Tupperware, I began putting up the tree and cluttering every surface of our house with nativity scenes, reindeer, poinsettias, and twinkly lights. Every year our family – like many of you – goes to great lengths to celebrate the birth of Jesus. But do we ever slow down to seriously contemplate why He came?
A couple of years ago, God drew my attention to several statements Jesus made that included the phrase “I came” or “I have come.” Of course, I had read them many times before, but had never considered them in the context of Christmas. As I searched the Gospels I found more than a dozen of these “I came…” statements. As I studied them, Christmas took on a deeper and richer meaning for me. This year, I would like to share them with you. I pray God would use His Words to enrich your Christmas celebration and foster worship of Him!
Jesus’ “I came” statements fall into three general categories, so we will look at them in those groups. I did not include all the passages themselves due to space. I encourage you to read these verses during your quiet time between now and Christmas. Use them to reflect on our gift of a Savior!
Group One: Jesus came to be the Father’s representative
Jesus made it very clear that He came to reveal the Father to the people. He never did or said or initiated anything on His own. He came in complete submission and obedience to the Father. He sought to please the Father and bring Him glory.
1. John 6:38 – Jesus did not operate from a personal agenda. He came only to do the Father’s will.
2. John 12:27 – He came to obey whatever the Father directed, even if it meant suffering.
3. Matthew 5:17 – Jesus came to complete what the Father initiated, including the Law and prophecy, not to change or abolish it.
Group Two: Jesus came to carry out the Father’s mission of salvation
Jesus came as the Father’s representative to fulfill the Father’s will. And the Father’s will was to provide redemption for all mankind. Jesus was His agent of redemption.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him (John 3:16-17).”
4. Mark 2:17 – Jesus came to call sinners and heal the spiritually sick.
5. Luke 19:10 – Jesus came to seek and to save the lost.
6. John 10:10 – Jesus came to provide abundant life.
7. John 9:39 – Jesus came to give “sight” to those who had been blind to spiritual things. He opened their understanding so they could receive Him.
8. John 12:46-47 – Jesus came as a light to save. The Light of the world draws people out of spiritual darkness.
Group Three: Jesus came to further the Kingdom of God
Jesus came as the Father’s representative, to carry out the Father’s mission of redemption, in order to establish a Kingdom. Have you ever noticed how much Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God? He saved us so we could be a part of His Kingdom. Jesus came to reveal the truth of God’s Kingdom to the world.
9. Luke 4:43 – Jesus came to preach about the Kingdom of God. From town to town He declared the rule and reign of God.
10. John 18:37 – Jesus came to be a King and to bring truth. Jesus victoriously rules and reigns today!
11. Matthew 20:28 – Jesus came “to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” He set the example for the citizens of God’s Kingdom.
12. Luke 12:51 – Jesus came to “bring division.” His offer of salvation requires a decision. Those who receive Him enter His Kingdom. Those that reject Him do not. (Find out now how to have a relationship with Jesus.)
If you are like me, when I celebrate Christmas I tend to limit my view of Jesus to a baby in a feed trough filled with hay. Yes, that’s how He arrived, but that is not why He came. As you celebrate Christmas this year, don’t leave Jesus in the manger. Remember, He came as the Father’s representative to provide a way for your salvation and establish God’s Kingdom on earth. Rejoice with exceeding great joy!