In my younger years, it was absolutely wonderful news when I discovered historical records outside the Bible that stated Jesus existed. For example, high Roman officials such as Pontius Pilate, Flavius Josephus, and Caesar Cornelius Tacitus reported that Jesus lived and died. Jesus died during the reign of Pontius Pilate. In addition to them, the Greek writer Lucian of Samosata, the Babylon Talmud, Mara Bar-Serapion, and the scientists Phlegon and Thallus all reported that He lived and later died. Together, these historical statements reveal that Jesus was crucified. Others say He was murdered, killed on a cross, or just put to death. These ancient testimonies support the biblical statements that Jesus Christ taught, did miracles, died on a cross, and was resurrected.
But why was Jesus born? Why did God come from heaven to earth and take on human flesh and blood? These questions are asked every year as we draw closer to the celebration of His birth. Most Christians already know He came to die as a sinless sacrifice in our place so that our sins can be forgiven. He died the death that every person deserves to experience because they sin. But Jesus was born for other reasons too! I want to give you seven reasons why Jesus came to earth. I did a search of the New Testament for Christ’s own statements that said, “He came.” I found six reasons. Then I searched the rest of the New Testament and found one more reason for a total of seven reasons why Jesus came to earth as a human baby.
First Reason Jesus Came
The first reason Jesus came is found in John 6:38-40. The passage says,
For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:38-40 (NASB)
Here Jesus openly tells the crowd that He had come down from heaven. Now there is only one way to understand that statement. He used to exist in heaven, but now He was on earth. Then He made another surprising statement. He came to do the Father’s will – not His own will. I do not know of anyone who easily submits to another person, except maybe employees who work for an employer. Most people who submit do it to receive benefits or rewards.
When Jesus came to earth, He came simply to please the Father. Hebrews 10:5-9 teaches us that when God the Father planned to save us, the Son of God volunteered to offer Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. Jesus did not just submit to the Father’s will, He volunteered to come to earth and take on human flesh and die for our sins. That is why Jesus said in John 10:18 that He, Himself, had the authority to choose to die and be resurrected. It is truly amazing what happened in the Godhead in ages past before the world was created.
Jesus said in John 6:40 that “everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” This was and is the Father’s plan. He did this so that people can have eternal life. Jesus volunteered to do the Father’s will and die on the cross.
So, Christ did not come to give us the Christmas season, holidays for family time, festive music, special food, parties, and gifts. Jesus came so our sins can be forgiven and we can enter heaven. He came to give us the assurance of eternal life. Jesus came to do the Father’s will, and He did it! That is the first gift Jesus gave us! I wonder what Christmas would be like if we focused on our own humility and submission to God the Father just as Jesus did.
Second Reason Jesus Came
So, the first reason Jesus came was to do the Father’s will. The second reason He came is found in Matthew 5:17-18. This passage is part of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is speaking to a crowd when He said,
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” Matthew 5:17-18 (NASB)
Jesus made this statement because He was about to tell the crowd several times, “You have heard . . . but I say to you!” Each time He said that, He rebuked the false teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees, and then He gave the correct understanding of the moral part of the Mosaic Law. Mark 1:22 tells us that the crowds were amazed at His teaching.
They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Mark 1:22 (NASB)
He taught the truth and brought glory to God the Father in so doing.
Not only did He correct false teaching, but He also fulfilled the ancient prophecies about Himself, about His birth in Bethlehem, His ministry, His miracles, His death and resurrection. He fulfilled all that the Father had communicated by Himself or through the prophets. That is the second reason He came. That is His second gift for us. That is a great reason for us to remember the fulfillment of all the Father said and promised for us.
Third Reason Jesus Came
The third reason Jesus came was to give us truth. In John 18:37, Jesus clearly stated.
Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:37 (NASB)
The Pharisees had distorted the truth. Satan appears as an angel of light in order to deceive this world (2 Corinthians 11:14). He does this by distorting the truth. Truth is truth. That which is truth in heaven is the real truth. So, Christ came to give us the truth because this world and Satan distort and twist the truth.
Closely related to John 18:37 is John 12:46. Here Jesus said,
I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. John 12:46 (NASB)
Now notice closely how Jesus used the word light. Light symbolizes both truth and holiness. Darkness symbolizes evil. The comparison of light versus darkness captures our attention. Darkness and light are frequently compared by Christ and the apostles. For example, in John 1:5-6 we are told this world is a dark place. It is clear that if we are habitually committing sin, we are walking in the darkness. John 3:19 says men love darkness because their deeds are evil. Our world is evil because it is controlled by Satan and unbelievers are filled with darkness because they are sinners. Our dark world suppresses the truth, and unbelievers hate the truth.
Next, both John 12:47-48 teach that those who reject the Light are those who do not believe the truth and do not keep Jesus’ sayings. God the Father will use their rejection to judge them. The basis for their judgment is their own disobedience and willful rejection of Jesus. This helps us understand that light symbolizes both truth and holiness.
So, Christ came to do the Father’s will, to fulfill the Law and prophets, and to give us the truth and teach us how to be holy. I wonder what Christmas would be like if we celebrated the fact that Jesus gave us truth?
Fourth Reason Jesus Came
The fourth reason Jesus came was to preach the gospel. Mark 1:37-38 tells us that Simon Peter and the other disciples were searching for Jesus. When they found Him, they said,
“Everyone is looking for You.” He said to them, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.” Mark 1:37-38 (NASB)
Notice that the disciples said, “Everyone is looking for You.” They did not know where Jesus had been. Others did not know either. He surprised them that he had been preaching the gospel. Jesus said that He came to preach in other towns also. He did not stay at home and conduct “church” meetings just with the disciples. He surprised the disciples by revealing the high priority of preaching the gospel. He said, “That is what I came for.”
Frankly, some believers do not share the same passion of Christ. He left heaven to do the Father’s will, to fulfill the Law and Prophets, to give us Light and truth, and now we learn He came to preach the gospel. The first three reasons were all necessary in order to accomplish the fourth reason. He came to share the gospel so that people can be saved. He came to save! That is His fourth gift to us. I wonder what Christmas would be like if we shared the gospel with someone and they believed in Jesus?
Fifth Reason Jesus Came
Christ came to do the Father’s will, to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, teach us how to be holy, and to preach the gospel so that people will be saved. The fifth reason Jesus came is found in John 9:39.
This verse is near the end of the account about a man who was born blind at birth (John 9:1). After Jesus healed him and he gained his eyesight, the Pharisees were upset and tried to prove that Jesus had performed a fake healing. So, they questioned people about the healing, including his parents. They were not successful in discrediting the healing. Finally, Jesus found the man again and spoke to him. He said,
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.” John 9:39 (NASB)
The Pharisees understood that Jesus referred to them as those who become blind. The point of Jesus’ statement is that He brought judgment in the sense that now someone who rejects Him brings judgment upon themselves. Those who do not have spiritual eyes cannot see spiritually and realize they are sinners and call upon Christ for forgiveness. On the flip side, unbelievers do not think they need to be forgiven or need Christ. So, they think they see, but the truth is they are blind.
John 3:17-21 give us the same principle. It says,
For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” John 3:17-21 (NASB)
Jesus tells us that He did not come to judge the world, but to save it. This reminds me of Ezekiel 33:11 which tells us that Yahweh does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked. John 3:18 says men and women bring judgment upon themselves when they do not believe in Jesus. They reject Jesus because they love their evil deeds. They do not see themselves as being evil. So, they hate Christ.
They also hate Christians. A related reason why Jesus came is given in Matthew 10:34-36.
Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD. Matthew 10:34-36 (NASB)
His point is that unbelievers will hate those within their own families who follow Him. In that sense, He causes conflict within families. They then bring judgment upon themselves.
So, Christ came to do the Father’s will, to fulfill the Law and Prophets, to teach us how to be holy, to preach the gospel, and to bring judgment upon those who reject Him. I wonder what Christmas would be like if we were celebrating those who believe in Christ?
Sixth Reason Jesus Came
The sixth reason Jesus came to earth was to die in our place for our sins. John 12:27 states,
“Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.’” John 12:27 (NASB)
Jesus’ definition of “hour” was His trial, condemnation for claiming to be the Son of God, and His death on the cross for our sins. Jesus defined what he meant by “hour” in Luke 22:53 when He said this to the chief priests, officers of the temple, and the elders.
While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of darkness are yours.” Luke 22:53. (NASB)
Notice that He said, “but this hour and the power of darkness are yours.” Demonic forces were at work. Judas had betrayed Him (Luke 22:47-52). He was arrested and the trial for claiming to be the Son of God was about to occur. Luke 22:70-71 dramatically gives us the verdict,
And they all said, “Are You the Son of God, then?” And He said to them, “Yes, I am.” Then they said, “What further need do we have of testimony? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.” Luke 22:70-71 (NASB)
Then when the religious leaders brought Jesus to Pontius Pilate (Luke 23:1-2) they lied about His statement in order to have Him killed. Eventually, Pilate brought Jesus before a crowd and the crowd called for Jesus to be crucified. Then on the afternoon of Friday, Nisan 14 A.D. 33, Christ died on a cross for our sins. In theology, we say Jesus vicariously died for our sins. That is, He substituted Himself for us and suffered for our sins. He is our substitutionary atonement. 1 Peter 2:24-25 states,
He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. 1 Peter 2:24-25 (NASB)
Mark 10:45 states Jesus came to earth to ransom many. He ransomed the elect.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 (NASB)
So, Christ came to do the Father’s will, to fulfill the Law and Prophets, to teach us how to be holy, to preach the gospel, to bring judgment upon those who reject Him, and to die in our place on the cross for our sins. I wonder what Christmas would be like if we celebrated “the hour” for which He came?
Seventh Reason Jesus Came
At this point, it would seem there are no other reasons why He came to earth—why He was born on earth. But there is one more reason He came. It is found in 1 John 3:8. It says,
The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8b (NASB)
What are the works of the devil? First, the devil is called the power of the air in Ephesians 2:1-2. In 2 Corinthians 4:4 he is called the god of this world. In 1 John 5:19 we are told the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. That is, in the control of the devil. This means that after he successfully deceived Eve into sinning, who then motivated Adam to sin, God gave the devil control of this world. Since then, he has fought against God.
John 8:44 says that he is the father of lies. But 2 Corinthians 11:14 says he appears as a good person—as an angel of light. He wants to appear as Christ. Yet, Paul said in 1 Thessalonians that Satan hindered Paul from performing his ministry. Job chapters 1-2 reveal that Satan attacks believers, can kill people, can destroy property, and can influence the weather. Acts 5:3 says that Satan filled Ananias’ heart to lie to the Holy Spirit. 1 Timothy 3:7 warns about appointing a new convert as an elder because the devil can use that to snare him. Ephesians 4:26-27 says he exploits our anger. 1 Corinthians 7:5 states that he tempts spouses to deny each other sexual relations in order to cause the other spouse to commit sexual sin. Acts 10:38 teaches that he can cause people to be sick. Luke 22:31 states that he wanted to sift Peter like wheat. That means even believers can seriously struggle in the faith. He spiritually blinds unbelievers. He motivated Judas to betray Christ.
1 John 3:10 says that there are only two groups of people on this earth—the children of God and the children of the devil. There is no middle group called the undecided. Hebrews 2:14 states the devil has the power of death. He is the accuser (Zechariah 3:1; Revelation 12:10)! So, the devil lies, deceives, snatches away the truth of the gospel (Matthew 13:19), motivates people to reject Christ and successfully demands the death of unbelievers. He is the accuser! That is a summary of the works of the devil.
So, Christ came to destroy all these works of the devil. Finally, Romans 16:20 states,
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. Romans 16:20 (NASB)
That will occur after Christ victoriously defeats the devil at the last battle after the millennial kingdom.
This summarizes the reasons why Jesus came to earth and was born as a human baby. He had to be sinless in order to die in our place so that our sins can be forgiven and we can enter heaven. He came to save us. At the same time, He set in motion the destruction of the works of the devil. That is why He came!
That is what Christmas is all about—God Himself in human flesh who came to save sinners and to destroy the devil’s works! Colossians 1:13-14 summarizes all of this and is a wonderful passage to remember,
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14 (NASB)
If you would like to escape the darkness and enter the kingdom of Christ, then ask Christ to forgive your sins. Romans 10:13 says anyone can call on Him and ask to be saved. He will save you.
WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED. Romans 10:13 (NASB)
Suggested Links:Christmas Story - Biblical Accounts
Life of Christ – events, miracles, teachings and purpose
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