Why Did Jesus Come?

Ask any believer why Jesus came to earth and they’ll likely proclaim that He came to save lost sinners. Some go as far to say that if they were the only human being on earth Jesus would have come to save them, but did you know that there are other reasons? Here are 16 scriptural references to consider. While not an exhaustive list, they help us to know a little more about our Lord and Savior’s character.

1) Jesus came to fulfill the law.
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. (Matthew 5:17)

2) Jesus came to divide.
Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division (Luke 12:51)

3) Jesus came to claim His Kingship and bear witness to the truth.
Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. (John 18:37)

4) Jesus came for judgment.
And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. (John 9:39)

5) Jesus came to call sinners.
I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Mark 2:17)

6) Jesus came to serve and give his life.
For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)

7) Jesus came to proclaim good news.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:18-19)

8) Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10)

9) Jesus came that the world might be saved.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:17)

10) Jesus came to do his Father’s will: to keep, save, and resurrect believers.
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:38-40)

11) Jesus came to give abundant life.
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10b)

12) Jesus came so believers may not remain in darkness.
I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. (John 12:46)

13) Jesus came destroy satan.
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil (Hebrews 2:14)

14) Jesus came to suffer and die.
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. (John 12:27)

15) Jesus came to comfort, release, and heal.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn (Isaiah 61:1-2)

16) Jesus came to reign as King.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

A Perfect Way

According to some Bible scholars there are seventeen Psalms speaking prophetically of Jesus. They are Psalm 2, 8, 16, 22, 40, 41, 45, 68, 69, 72, 78, 89, 102, 109, 110, 118, and 132. However I think they may have missed one. Pour over Psalm 101 and see if you agree.

Psam 101

Vs. 1-2: I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O Lord, will I sing. I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

All Christians know that there was only One perfect man, the God man, Jesus Christ. But rather than recognize that fact, some interpreters of this Psalm set out to redefine the word perfect, essentially claiming that ‘perfect’ does not mean perfect (as we understand it Biblically), but rather it’s referencing a desire or intent to be perfect, in other words trying to do ones best with God’s help. If we maintain this is King David writing solely about himself, then the reality is that we’re forced to redefine what perfect means. But imagine this is not the king referring to himself, but rather David prophetically pointing to Jesus, as inspired by God (as in many other Psalms). It’s Christ’s mercy, judgement, power, and authority, as it righteously exists before God the Father. 

The Psalmist continues:

Vs. 3-5: I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.

Sounds like Jesus to me.

Vs. 5-6: Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off:him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.

Sounds like Jesus to me.

Vs. 7-8: He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house:he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord.

Is King David implying all the ‘faithful’ and ‘deceit-less’ can live in his house? Does he have the power and ability to ‘destroy all the wicked’ of the land? Does he have the authority to ‘cut off’ all the wicked from city of the Lord? Seems to me that only Jesus has that kind of power and authority. This all sounds like ‘Second Coming’ stuff to me.

I’m not going to be dogmatic about it, but I will say again…

It sounds like Jesus to me.

Fear the Lord

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God…The fear of the Lord is to hate evil…The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…The fear of the Lord prolongeth days…The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death…by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil…be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long. (Assorted Proverbs)

Charles Spurgeon chimes in on the topic (150 or so years ago):

“Perhaps some of the Puritan fathers may have gone too far, and have given too great a prominence to the terrors of the Lord in their ministry: but the age in which we live has sought to forget those terrors altogether, and if we dare to tell men that God will punish them for their sins, it is charged upon us that we want to bully them into religion, and if we faithfully and honestly tell our hearers that sin must bring after it certain destruction, it is said that we are attempting to frighten them into goodness. Now we care not what men mockingly impute to us; we feel it our duty, when men sin, to tell them they shall be punished, and so long as the world will not give up its sin we feel we must not cease our warnings. But the cry of the age is, that God is merciful, that God is love. Who said he was not? But remember, it is equally true, God is just, severely and inflexibly just. He were not God, if he were not just; he could not be merciful if he were not just.”

I agree with Chuck – we have gotten away from preaching fire and brimstone, and for all the wrong reasons. Yes, we should share the Gospel message in love, but ignoring God’s immeasurable power, His justifiable and righteous wrath, eternal damnation, specifically as it pertains to the consequences of sin, is not loving. If the Bible declares that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge, then it should be one of the first points we hammer down when sharing the Good News.

Read those Proverbs in the first paragraph again. If you’re still not convinced, look up the other 100+ places in the Bible where the fear of the Lord is taught. I got news for you, the fear of the Lord is not just a call to be respectful to our Almighty God. I submit to you that the literal interpretation of the passage is the proper way to proceed. I further submit that is can be conveyed compassionately, however sometimes a more fearful tone is required.

Jude 21-23 puts it this way:

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”

Captured by Satan

“When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.” Matthew 13:19

Why are these folks captured by satan, the wicked one? Because they do not have understanding. More specifically, they do not have the Holy Spirit who gives understanding.

The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26

Why don’t they have the Holy Spirit?

Because they are not true, born-again believers. They may like some of the concepts of Christianity – they go to church, try to be good, etc., but they haven’t grasped (understood) their sinful condition, the penalty for sin, and they have not given themselves over to Jesus Christ for cleansing, healing, rebirth, sanctification, purpose, and salvation. The Bible refers to these types of people as ’natural men.’

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14

The ones who have been captured [by satan] were never really saved to begin with. They never came to sorrowful terms with their sinful nature, therefore they never had a faith-filled desire to repent. Sure, God may have been drawing them to Himself (the only way to be saved), but for whatever reason they rejected His gracious free gift of salvation and therefore His Holy Spirit [of understanding] never took up residence inside them. Sadly, the fault might be ours – the sowers of the seed.

As sharers of the Gospel message we need to remember that God is responsible for bringing folks into the family and our function is to be a conduit for an accurate message, without exaggeration and without Scriptural omission. When we do this the Holy Spirit will convict a person and the unsaved hearer gets the Salvation message directly from the Source. At this point if the listener rejects Jesus, it won’t be because they didn’t have the salvational-facts presented to them. Of course this is not to say that no seed was planted and that God might use another to water, another to cultivate, and another to harvest, but rather to say that we should know the Gospel message completely and share it with love and without compromise when God provides the opportunity.

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

Consider these two Bible verses:

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”(Ephesians 2:8-9)

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26)

Now *replace the word ‘works‘ with the word ‘religion‘. Ephesians 2:8-9 now reads, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of RELIGION, lest any man should boast.”  Swapping our those words helps us to understand that religion, the very God-given components of our faith (i.e., going to church, worship, praying, reading your Bible, getting baptized, fellowshipping with other believers, taking Communion, obeying the moral teachings of Jesus Christ and/or those prescribed in the Bible, etc.) can NOT save you.

Why can’t religion save you?

Because the Christian religion (the aforementioned elements of our faith) is NOT for unbelievers – it’s for believers: those who believe and follow Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior, having confessed and repented from their sinful behavior and having turned to obey and serve Him.

Now consider the James 2:26b passage, “So faith without RELIGION is dead, coupling it with the religious components that comprise our faith. Are you a saved, born-again believer, but not going to church, not worshipping, not praying, not reading your Bible, not getting baptized, not fellowshipping with other believers, not taking Communion, and not obeying, following and submitting to the moral teachings of Jesus Christ and/or those prescribed in the Bible?

If you’re not, may I suggest that your faith is dead. These are some of the very things believers should be doing in order to know Jesus better, discern His will, and receive His help. This is the reason God has breathed life into the Christian religion as prescribed in His Word, the Bible. Frankly, there is no relationship with Jesus without these religious components. I’m not saying you’re not saved, although you might want to reevaluate your spiritual position in Christ.

For these reasons, believers need to stop pronouncing religion as bad, regardless if they may have had bad experiences with man-made doctrines as a kid or new believer, or they were raised in one of a million other false religions, or they experienced or witnessed hypocrisy within the Christian church. Know now that there is only one, true religion and it is Christianity. It’s God-given and found within the pages of God’s word, the Bible, it’s not for the unsaved, it’s for you the believer, and it is an essential treasure chest of tools that equip us to know and serve Jesus better.

*DISCLAIMER: I am not adding to or subtracting from the word of God, nor am I saying that ‘works’ and ‘religion’ are synonymous, despite similarities. I am however suggesting that they are complementary in that neither one saves a person, but should be evident in the saved-person’s life. I also believe that if a Christian insists on bad-mouthing the “R word without the context it is due, he or she could very well cause someone to stumble in their faith. 

So I bought a motorcycle a couple of weeks ago and the following Monday, title in hand, I ventured to my local (DMV) Division of Motor Vehicles. Things went a little south when the clerk handed me a piece of paper and told me the ‘seller’ had to fill it out and get it notarized as he signed the title in the wrong place. The bad news was that the seller left for vacation and would not be back for another week.

Fast forward – I met with the seller at his bank, got the paper notarized, and returned to the DMV today. Despite having all my paperwork in order, I had a feeling in my gut that it wasn’t going to go well. As it turns out my paperwork was not in order. The clerk advised me that I needed a notarized letter from the seller’s bank (in Texas) stating that he paid off his original loan in full. Thankfully, and because of my previous ‘feelings’, I had been praying for a calm spirit, regardless of whatever was going to happen at the DMV. Although being angry on the inside, I kept a lid on it. After going back and forth with the clerk for a minute, she said she would speak to her supervisor.

Miracle Number One

The clerk was with her supervisor for a good 10-15 minutes and I witnessed the supervisor on her computer and her phone. When the clerk returned she said that her supervisor called the bank in Texas and got the bank to agree to FAX over the required letter and that I should wait a few minutes. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the DMV, but they do not do this. Needless to say I was very grateful.

Miracle Number Two

A few minutes turned into an hour and the supervisor came out to speak to me. She apologized for keeping me waiting and said she called the bank back and it would take another 20 minutes or so. It turns out that the person who notarizes stuff at the bank in Texas called out sick. My heart dropped a little bit, but then she added, “The nice lady I spoke to on the phone would go to a neighboring bank and get the letter notarized there.” Amazing. I don’t know if your familiar with the bank, but they do not do this. Needless to say I was very grateful.

Miracle Number Three

Another half hour passed and the supervisor (Maureen is her name) came out again and said the bank in Texas was unable to FAX over the document (my heart dropped again), but quickly added that she accepted an EMAIL adding, “Which we never do – we never accept emails.” She beckoned me to follow her to the counter and a clerk would complete all my paperwork. Needless to say I was very grateful.


I recognize that technically these unusual events do not qualify as miracles, however it is my faith-based opinion that these were so much more than a string of favorable coincidences. In the two hours I sat at DMV, I prayed a lot, and not just for me, but for those also waiting in line to be served. I heard a few people be turned away (as I was initially) for not having the proper paperwork. In my prayers I also thanked the Lord for each mini-miracle as they occurred. I must also confess that God was doing a work on me, teaching me to be patient and stifling the anger that wanted to bubble up from deep within. I could argue that in that was a fourth miracle.

Anyway, and regardless if you deem any of these events as miraculous, I wanted to share this short testimony with you and to publicly give God the honor, glory, and praise He deserves. I felt His presence at the DMV and I suspect others did as well.

Pray without ceasing!

“By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil… Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” (Proverbs 16:6 & Corinthians 7:9-10)

When you share the Gospel, at some point in your conversation you will want to lovingly convey the gist of those two Bible passages, i.e., the ‘Fear of the Lord’ and ‘Godly sorrow.’ I would venture to say that those who walk away from their faith in Jesus had little or no grasp of these critical doctrines. Think about it. The Bible repeatedly says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, therefore it stands to reason that it should be one of the first things we communicate. It’s so vital that the non-believer understands the awesome power of God, that Jesus said this: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him (God) which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

Of course ‘Godly sorrow’ goes hand-in-hand with this fear of the Lord. This unique sorrow comes about when we fully grasp that our sinful lifestyle is the path to hell. That notion should terrify a person. If it doesn’t, then they need to hear more about eternal damnation.

Frankly, we need to be more concerned with lovingly communicating these Gospel-basics and less concerned with leading someone in a half-hearted prayer. Christians-to-be have a right to full disclosure. It’s not our function to keep a smile on their face until we can convert them. It would be better if they walked away with a better understanding of the fear of the Lord then to side-step Biblical accuracy. It’s by mercy and truth iniquity is purged (Proverbs 16:6), therefore we are not at liberty to ignore these tenets.

Some will say that when the Bible speaks of fearing the Lord, it is speaking solely to respect and reverence. That my friends is not full disclosure. Of course we venerate God, but know also that the word in the Greek language also means ‘to put to flight by terrifying. Read Matthew 10:28 again!

Does this mean we’re to be terrified of the Lord or terrified of the consequences He put in place for those who idolize their sin? Does this mean we’re to flee from His awesomeness or flee from our sin and towards Him?

Did you have a dad who physically disciplined you? I did. Did I fear my dad if I was caught being bad? Yes I did. In my fear did I love him any less? No, I did not. I may have been mad at him, but I never loved him less. So it is with God the Father. We have been given the capacity to fear Him and love Him. It is the beginning of wisdom.

“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou NOT unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6)

Many Christians reject the “R” word (religion) because of the errant, man-made components of so many false religions. To their cause they have adopted a catchphrase and have added it to their Gospel presentations. We know the phrase all to well:

“It’s a relationship, not a religion.”

This phrase is not found in the Bible, yet some have added the man-made slogan to their Gospel message primarily because they believe it appeals to those who have had negative religious experiences crammed down their throats while they were yet followers of Jesus Christ. Whatever their reasoning it’s a violation of God’s command. Clearly Christians must have a relationship with Jesus, and clearly God commands that religious hypocrisy and false religions are to be avoided, and clearly (and of utmost importance), the Christian religion unto itself does not save you, but nowhere does God conclude or even imply that the components of the Christian faith are to be rejected. That would be ludicrous – God gave them to us so we would know Jesus better and would know what is expected of us.

Despite knowing this, many Christians still say it, forgetting God’s warning, “lest they be reproved and found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:6).

How many people have been drawn to the faith (and ultimately to a church pew) by these errant words only to discover, “Gee, this whole church-service thing sure seems religious to me!” Their next thought must be, “You lied to me!”

Truth be told it was a lie, because a legitimate Christian church service is religious. Every religious thing that we do in church is designed so that our relationship with Jesus will deepen and mature. None of it saves us – it’s not supposed to; the religious things we do come after we’ve repented and turned to Jesus to believe and follow. I confess, I used to use ‘the phrase’ all the time, that is until I was convicted by the Holy Spirit and His Word to stop. God’s word is pure and He does not need our help by our adding to the message. There is however a way to talk to someone who has had a bad religious experience. It starts by listening to exactly what made their experience bad, then addressing the issue specifically and biblically.

What I have often discovered while listening to these people is that the problem was not so much the religion (unless it was a false religion), but rather that they were not ready for it. In other words, they were not saved and they were not interested in our religious stuff. Who can blame them? I recall hating Sunday School and I now fully understand why – I was not a believer or follower of Jesus Christ. The problem was not the religious activities, the problem was me!

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

I don’t know if this story is true, but nevertheless the way I heard it gave me pause. It’s about an Englishman named Richard Love who over half a century ago was sentenced to death. As the prison chaplain walked with him to the gallows, he pleaded with him to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, adding that to deny Christ was to accept eternal torment.

What was Love’s response? 

“Go to hell.”

This doomed man wanted to know why, if this Good News message was so gravely important, did the chaplain wait until the very last second to deliver it, telling him, “If I thought this message was the truth (as you do), than I would have crawled on my hands and knees through broken glass in order to deliver it to every person in England.” 

Love’s rejection of Christ Jesus was stupid, but his rebuke of the holy man was spot on, and a lesson for every believer. If the Gospel message is as critically important as we believe it to be, what on earth are we saving it for?

World famous magician and atheist, Penn Jillette shares an interesting story with similar application in this video. Jillette, like Love, makes the wrong choice, but his admonition is weighty.

Here’s the video: https://youtu.be/6md638smQd8

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (and) the wages of sin is death… But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord… God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us (so) whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved… If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Romans 3:23, 6:23a, 6:23b, 5:8, 10:13, 10:9-10 

Satan’s Job

The job of satan (at least in part) is to keep us so in-the-dark that we do not know we are lost and frankly, as we look around the world today, he is doing a pretty good job of it. Currently in these United States practically ‘anything’ goes; a person can essentially find an accepting coalition for any behavior or action he or she can dream up and what was once rightfully considered sinful fifty years ago is now conventional and very often encouraged. Somewhere, somehow, we have falsely established an authority over God determining [for ourselves] a measure of sin suitable to our lifestyle and the fact that we witness similar conduct in our churches today is the abominational icing on the cake.

You Are a Sinner

You are a sinner, I am a sinner, your sweet old granny is a sinner, and yes, even Mother Teresa was a sinner. There is no need to get all bent out of shape about it; it’s just the way it is. The problem with sin is that God hates it, so much so that if you lived to be one hundred years old and only committed one stinking little sin, that minor imperfection would keep you forever separated from God.

God Demands Perfection

God demands perfection, and odd as it may seem, so do we.

We might not think we are perfectionists, but isn’t it true that we demand excellence from the folks we deal with? Would any of us fly an airline that advertised, “We Get You There…Most of the Time, ” or a doctor who asks, “I am not big on cleanliness; is that a problem for you?” Why then do we get all flustered when we learn that the God who created us also demands excellence, after all, we are made in His image.

There is Only One Solution

By that I mean there is only one solution for our separation-problem: the sin which separates us from God and denies us entrance into Heaven. And honestly, if God provided two ways, we would ask for three; if He provided ten ways, we would ask for eleven, one thousand ways, one thousand and one. Let’s be forever grateful that God kept it extremely simple and gave us one way only: Jesus Christ. If you are involved in a religion that has laid all sorts of required ritual burdens on you, then you are doing a whole bunch of extra stuff that the Lord never asked you to do. The Lord’s deal is a done deal; all you need do is accept it as the gift it was always meant to be. Jesus said…

For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:30

We Receive With Open Hands

Like I said, your salvation (once received) is a done deal; there is nothing else you ever have to do accept take procession of it—that is in fact the Good News. If you choose to keep this Good News to yourself, it is your prerogative and your salvation will not be in jeopardy, but it’s GOOD NEWS MAN, how can you keep it to yourself? Tell someone! You are saved; you have discovered the cure for death—go give it away!

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