Reasons Jesus Came
Every person can understand better why Jesus came by looking at the reasons listed in John 1:1-18.
In this clip Edmund has wandered off to join forces with the number one bad person in the movie. When he finds out what she is really about he decides it was a bad decision. After he is rescued he has to work at regaining the trust of those he has betrayed.
It feels like Edmund should pay a penalty for what he did, but instead you find that he is forgiven and accepted by those he has hurt. In this passage Jesus came and you even though we deserve a penalty Jesus treats us as we don’t deserve.
Reason I. To bring light
A. There was one time when the power was out at our house. Some of the younger children did not really understand what was happening. So one of them ended up going through the house checking all of the light switches to see if this power outage affected every light in the house. You might guess it had. The reason I tell you this story is so that you might understand how much we have come to anticipate and rely on things like electricity. We simply expect that when you flip a switch a light will come on. In a world where there is not this kind of light, a little light can make a big difference.
B. Something as little as a light from a match can make a huge difference in a place where there is no light. In this section the word light is used 7 times to describe Jesus. It should send the message loud and clear that Jesus came to be light in the world. The world that Jesus came to was a dark world. It was a place where sin had a powerful grip. The sin was the darkness. He was going to a people who needed light. They needed to see and understand their darkness. They needed to receive freedom from the sin that had ensnarled them. Jesus came and exposed the sin that was making the lives of people dark. These people had probably lived in darkness for so long they did not even realize what had happened to them.
C. The people Jesus came to were religious people. They had religious leaders who gave them rules and told them what they could and could not do. They were very rigid in the things that were allowed. However, they seemed to be people who lacked faith in God. They were of the understanding that if they did the right things God would bless them and allow them into heaven. If you would have taken God out of the equation there would be no difference. Jesus came to show the importance of faith in God, not faith in the things they did.
D. If we are not careful we can stumble into the same issue. We can become consumed with what is right and what is wrong so much that we lose sight of faith in God. This kind of a life can seem right, but it does not get us to God. We need to be living a life that is seeking God. It is a life that wants to know God. It is more than just a set of rules. When we are simply living by a set of rules we are doing the same thing the people of Jesus day did, we are living in darkness.
Reason II. To bring life
A. Perhaps this is a mystery that we will sometimes overlook. In the opening verses of this passage John talks about the Word. The Word he is speaking of is Jesus Christ. One of the first things he tells us is that Jesus was with God in the beginning. That means that before anything was created God was there and so was Jesus. When the world was created Jesus was there. John makes it clear that Jesus was not only there, but he was intimately involved in the creation process. He goes to the extent of saying that if it were not for Jesus nothing would have been made. We have just come through the Christmas season where much of the focus has been on this little baby in the manger. We tend to allow our minds to think that just because that was the physical beginning for Jesus it was the beginning. Jesus was around long before the world was created. He did not begin with his physical birth and he did not end with his death or his ascension into heaven. He always has been and he always will be.
B. This has confused and troubled Jews for generations. The first of the Ten Commandments states, “You shall have no other gods before me.” When Jesus arrives on the scene and proclaims that he is God, it causes some confusion. It appears that now there are two gods rather than the one they had worshipped since the beginning of time. John makes it so that somehow God is able to be God the father and God the son at the same time. He does this without becoming two gods. He is still the same single God. We can worship God and Jesus and be worshipping one God. In our minds it does not make sense. God’s knowledge and understanding is much greater than ours.
C. We need to understand that we do not have a father God, a son God and a Holy Spirit God. We have one God. He shows himself in the form of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It can be challenging to get our minds around this concept, but it is something that we should understand. Our God is one God and we worship him. So when we were created it was the work of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Reason III. To offer salvation
A. It would be a sad situation if Jesus would have come into the world simply to tell us how bad we are. It would be like taking your car to a mechanic and asking him to diagnose a problem. When he calls you up he tells you, that it is really bad. I have never seen anything so bad in all my life. He does not offer any solutions or suggestions. He just tells you how bad it is. In the first point I told you that Jesus came to bring light to a dark situation. He was not just exposing the sin that was hiding in the dark. He was also offering a way out of the darkness.
B. In v. 12 John says, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Jesus came into the world to point out sin, but also to give a way to gain freedom from sin. He came to offer a way out. It would be like that mechanic telling you exactly what the problem is and then telling you what needs to be done to fix the problem. Jesus came into the world to point out sin, but then he went on to tell what needed to be done in order to remedy the problem. The people needed to receive him as their Lord and Savior. We can never do enough good to outweigh the bad in our lives. There are not enough good things for us to do. If we spent all of our life doing good things, the scales would still not be tipped in our favor. Just as this passage explains, we don’t need to seek to do good things for our penance. We need to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We need to receive him.
C. In this passage Jesus came for two reasons. Jesus came first of all make people aware of their sin. This is something that every person needs to do. They need to take a look at their lives and realize there is sin there. It might be something overwhelming that cannot be overcome, or we might feel that our sin is small. The size of the sin does not matter. There must first be recognition of sin in your life. Then you must realize that turning to Jesus is the only remedy for that sin. Everyone is in need of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sin.
Reason IV. To grant access
A. When I was in California a friend of mine took me for a day and drove me all over the countryside. We drove past several attractions, one of which was an air force base. We could see the tails of B-1 bombers sticking up above the fence. The friend drove to the gate and asked if we might enter to look at the jets. The guard at the gate denied our request and asked us to turn around. The only way we would be allowed in, is if we had the proper credentials.
B. Sometimes access to God can feel like that. We think that it is necessary to have the proper credentials to get in to see God. That was part of the reason that Jesus came. He came to grant us the credentials needed to get to God. In the verse we were just looking at it says, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” When we believe in Jesus Christ as God in the flesh and we accept him as our Lord and Savior, we become children of God. In most families, you don’t need special permission to get into your father. He is your father and you have exclusive access to him, even if he is one of the most powerful people in the world. Jesus came to give us that kind of access to God the father.
C. The world that Jesus was born into people needed to go to a priest and bring a sacrifice if they wanted to get God’s attention. Not so any longer. Now access to God is for everyone who accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is not just for the priest or the minister. It is not just for a select few. It is for anyone who will accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.
D. We will probably find in our lives people who seem to have a closer relationship with God. We might even feel at times that there are people who are more articulate in talking to God. God does not judge us based on how articulate we are, or how talkative we are. God wants to know that we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and then he wants us to know him. So he makes access to him a possibility.
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you have gotten the greatest gift of all. You have a savior who loves you so much he was willing to die for you. You have a God who was willing to allow that to happen for you. Don’t take for granted what God has done for you. Use this as a time to draw close to God.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior I would challenge you to consider a relationship with him. There is no amount of work we can do to get to God. The only way to God is through Jesus Christ. Use what God has made available to you and come to him.