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Imagine embarking on a journey to truly grasp why Jesus walked the earth. “The Purpose of Jesus: Understanding His Mission” shines a light on the profound reasons behind His actions and teachings. Tailored for readers of, the original What Would Jesus Do? website, this piece seeks to explore the core of what Jesus was tasked with during His time among us. It’s not just about the miracles and parables; it’s delving into the essence of His existence and the legacy that He aimed to leave for humanity. So, if you’ve ever found yourself pondering the question, “What was Jesus supposed to do?”, you’re about to find some enlightening perspectives.

The Purpose of Jesus: Understanding His Mission

The Prophetic Expectations of Jesus’ Mission

When you delve into the Old Testament, you’re essentially flipping through pages filled with anticipation. It’s like previewing trailers before the main feature at a movie, except these previews were written centuries before Jesus was born. The Old Testament is sprinkled with prophecies forecasting the coming of a Messiah.

Old Testament forecasting a Messiah

Consider for a moment the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Micah, among others. They didn’t just speak into the void; they laid down specific expectations for the Messiah. Isaiah, for instance, talks about a virgin giving birth and a figure known as the Suffering Servant, which Christians interpret as direct references to Jesus and his mission. It’s fascinating when you think about it, this ancient text sketching a figure who would change history.

Similarities between Jesus and prophesied Messiah

Now, fast forward to the New Testament, and what do you find? A carpenter from Nazareth checking off these prophecies one by one. Born in Bethlehem? Check. Hailing from the lineage of David? Check. A ministry pocked with miracles, teachings, and ultimately, a sacrificial death followed by a resurrection? Check, check, and check. The similarities are uncanny, and for many, they solidify the understanding of Jesus as the prophesied Messiah.

Jesus as the Son of God

The title ‘Son of God’ isn’t thrown around lightly. It signifies more than lineage; it’s about essence and identity.

Significance of the title ‘Son of God’

When you call Jesus the Son of God, you’re dialing into a divine reality. It’s not just about biology; it’s about identity. This title sets Jesus apart, indicating his unique relationship with the Creator. It’s like being given a backstage pass to the universe, stamped with divinity.

The divine identity of Jesus

This divine identity isn’t just for show. It underpins the entire mission of Jesus. His miracles, his teachings, even his relationship with the people around him, were all infused with this divine essence. When Jesus calmed the storm, forgave sins, or healed the sick, he wasn’t just showing off; he was demonstrating what it means to live in perfect harmony with God.

Jesus as the Savior

The climax of Jesus’ mission on earth revolves around his sacrifice and crucifixion, but the story doesn’t end with his death.

Jesus’ sacrifice and crucifixion

You’ve probably heard the story: Jesus, nailed to a cross, between two thieves, uttering words of forgiveness before his death. This image is potent, not just because of its historical significance, but because of its spiritual implications. Jesus’ crucifixion was the ultimate sacrifice—God himself, stepping into history to redeem humanity from its own mess.

The role of Jesus in redemption and salvation

But why? Why go through all of this? The answer lies in the concept of redemption and salvation. Through Jesus’ sacrifice, something monumental occurred—an exchange, of sorts. His death opened up a path for you, for everyone, to reconnect with God. It’s like a bridge was built where before there was just an insurmountable chasm.

The Incarnation of Jesus

The incarnation is one of those mysteries that can make your head spin if you think about it too long. God becoming man? It’s the kind of plot twist you’d find in a blockbuster movie, except this one’s at the heart of Christian faith.

The mystery of God becoming man

The incarnation refers to God taking on human flesh in Jesus. Imagine the Creator of the universe, the entity behind everything from the largest galaxy to the smallest atom, choosing to experience life with all its limitations, joys, and sorrows. It’s a profound testament to the depth of God’s love for humanity.

Significance of Jesus’ humanity

Jesus’ humanity is crucial because it makes him relatable. He wasn’t a distant deity, unacquainted with pain or temptation; he experienced it all. Hunger, grief, betrayal—nothing was off-limits. This humanity makes Jesus an empathetic figure, someone you can turn to, knowing he understands your struggles.

The Purpose of Jesus: Understanding His Mission

Jesus as the Fulfillment of the Law

Based on the Jewish understanding, the law was given to Moses to set apart God’s people and guide them. Jesus didn’t come to discard this; he came to fulfill it.

How Jesus fulfilled Mosaic Law

Jesus’ approach to the Mosaic Law was not to abolish it but to fulfill it. He respected the laws, but he also challenged people to look beyond the letter of the law to its spirit. It’s like he was saying, “You’ve heard it said…but I tell you…” raising the bar from mere adherence to a law to embodying its underlying principles of love and justice.

Jesus’ teachings surpassing old religious laws

Jesus’ teachings often went beyond what was written in the law, focusing on the heart rather than the action alone. He advocated for mercy over sacrifice, love over legalism. It’s a challenging perspective, requiring a transformation not just of actions, but of the heart itself.

Jesus’ Ministry and Healing Work

During his time on earth, Jesus was known for his healing work and miracles. These weren’t just party tricks; they were signposts pointing to something greater.

Jesus’ role as a healer and miracle worker

When you hear about Jesus healing the sick, casting out demons, or feeding thousands with a few loaves and fishes, it’s easy to be amazed. These acts showed his compassion and power, but they also hinted at the in-breaking of God’s kingdom on earth. It was like each miracle was a foretaste of what was to come, a world made whole again.

Significance of Jesus’ miracles in His mission

The significance of these miracles goes beyond their immediate impact. They validated Jesus’ divine mission and showcased the transformative power of God’s love. It was proof that the kingdom of God is not just an abstract concept but a reality that breaks into the world in tangible, life-changing ways.

The Purpose of Jesus: Understanding His Mission

Jesus’ Teaching and Parables

Jesus wasn’t just about miracles; he was a master teacher, using parables to impart wisdom and truth.

Exploring Jesus’ significant teachings

Jesus’ teachings often challenged prevailing views, pushing his listeners to rethink their assumptions about God, righteousness, and the kingdom of heaven. The Beatitudes, for instance, flipped societal norms on their head, blessing the meek and the poor in spirit.

Role of parables in Jesus’ ministry

Jesus’ parables were like bite-sized wisdom, packing deep truths into simple stories. Whether it was the Prodigal Son or the Good Samaritan, these parables made the kingdom of God accessible to everyone, inviting listeners to see themselves within these stories and to reflect on their meaning in a personal way.

The Last Supper and Jesus’ Passion

The Last Supper and the events that followed mark the culmination of Jesus’ earthly ministry, leading to the ultimate sacrifice.

Symbolism and significance of the Last Supper

The Last Supper was more than a final meal; it was a symbolic gathering, imbued with meaning. When Jesus broke bread and shared wine, declaring them his body and blood, he was instituting a new covenant—a promise of redemption and a call to remember him always.

Events leading to Jesus’ sacrifice

The path from the Last Supper to the crucifixion was marked by betrayal, trial, and suffering. Each step of Jesus’ passion was laden with significance, from Judas’ betrayal to Peter’s denial. These events highlight not just the cost of Jesus’ mission but also the depth of his commitment to humanity.

Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus

The story of Jesus doesn’t end with his death; it bursts forth from the tomb with his resurrection, leading to his ascension.

Factuality and significance of Jesus’ resurrection

The resurrection is the linchpin of Christian faith; without it, everything else crumbles. It’s the ultimate vindication of Jesus’ mission, a triumphant declaration that death does not have the last word. For many, the factuality of the resurrection is a matter of faith, supported by historical evidence and personal experience.

Meaning and impact of Jesus’ ascension

Jesus’ ascension marks his return to the Father, but it’s not just a cosmic “game over.” It’s a transition to a new type of presence in the world through the Holy Spirit. It signifies the beginning of the church’s mission and the ongoing impact of Jesus’ ministry, which continues to resonate through history.

Jesus’ Impact on Christianity Today

Two thousand years later, the echoes of Jesus’ life still shape lives and cultures around the globe.

The legacy of Jesus’ teachings

Jesus’ teachings continue to inspire, challenge, and provoke. They’ve founded movements, toppled injustices, and offered hope to the hopeless. The simplicity of his message—love God, love your neighbor—carries a revolutionary charge that continues to turn the world upside down.

Continued significance of Jesus’ mission in modern times

In a world often marked by division and despair, Jesus’ mission remains profoundly relevant. His call to live out the principles of the kingdom of God offers a blueprint for reconciliation, peace, and true community. It’s a mission that invites you to participate, to live out the radical implications of love in your daily life.

Exploring the mission of Jesus is like uncovering a treasure that keeps on giving. There’s always more to discover, more depth to plumb. And in that journey, you find not just the historical figure of Jesus, but a living presence, inviting you into a story that continues to unfold.