God's Mission

John Telgren

Why did Jesus come? What was his mission? Several times throughout his ministry, Jesus gave purpose statements for his ministry. I have collected a sampling of them below.

Since we the church are the body of Christ and are to follow him as our example (1 Pet 2:21; 1 Jn 2:6), it is instructive to meditate on these sayings. What would it mean for you to follow his example in these things? How do these shape your life's purpose? If you were to have a personal mission statement, how do these help you to shape it? What should be the church's mission?

"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me" (Jn 6:38).

"...just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Mt 20:28).

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill" (Mt 5:17). Note: In the rest of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches on the law, giving deeper meanings, teaching what it means to fulfill it.

"... for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth..." (Jn 18:37).

"Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division" (Lk 12:51).

"And Jesus said, 'For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind'" (Jn 9:39). Note: The Pharisees had effectively shut out people from God's word and obscured what God's intention was in Christ. Jesus would reverse this. His giving sight to the blind man here also brought spiritual insight. In this way, Jesus brought "sight" to those who were blinded by the Pharisees and the like, but the Pharisees were blind. Jesus is saying he made God's truth accessible.

"For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him" (Jn 3:17).

"... I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (Jn 10:10).

"...It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners'" (Mk 2:17).

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor, He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord." (Lk 4:18-19).

"But He said to them, 'I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose'" (Lk 4:43).

"For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Lk 19:10).

After reading these, it seems to me that they could be summed up in this way. Our mission is to fulfill the will of the God who sends us, the church, into the world. As these passages demonstrate, it involves sacrificial service as Christ demonstrated. It involves teaching for sanctification to God. It involves bringing the salvation, life, and freedom of the Gospel to the lost. This is what shapes the mission of the church. Here is a motto that sums it up nicely. "We are a Christ centered family, learning, sharing, and caring."