Jesus Came To Earth For One Purpose
Jesus came to this earth with one set purpose, to make a way for people to be right with God. In order to do this He would have to die for the sins of mankind to appease God’s wrath. So, Jesus came to the earth to die.
Luke 9:51 KJV And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
Jerusalem would be His place of death on a cross. And He headed toward Jerusalem with a fixed determination. He not only died on purpose, He lived on purpose.
This tells us Jesus never strayed from His purpose. So, the mock trial, the crowd shouting “crucify Him,” nor Pilate took the life of Jesus. Yes, they all had their part but the power of life and death lies in the hands of God (John 10:18; 19:10-11).
When we call ourselves followers of Christ, what does that mean?
What Does Following Christ Look Like?
There are those who say following Christ means loving your life here. That God wants you to succeed according to the world’s definition. They tell you, you will find contentment in the pleasures and ways of this world. Is this the purpose of those who follow Christ?
If Any Man WILL Come
Luke 9:23 KJV And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
will-2309- thelo – 2307- thelema- (from 2309/thelo, “to desire, wish”) – properly, a desire (wish) often referring to God’s preferred will,” i.e. His “best offer” to people which can be accepted or rejected (HELPS Word-studies)
It says “If any man will come“. First we have the invitation from Jesus to anyone. Salvation comes by the free grace of God, through faith in Christ. God re-creates us in Christ to do His good works. (Ephesians 2:8-10). Believers live their life with this set purpose. How do we do that?
deny-533- aparneonai (from 575/lapo, “from” which intesifies 720/areonai, back to what was originally refused (rejected, forsaken) (Abbott-Smith, so also in Herodatus, Thucydides)
720-(arneomai) already means “deny” so 533 (aprneomai) suggests “strongly reject” …. Can imply ignore, disown, or repudiate” (HELPS Word-studies).
We deny self (flesh) by exercising our will (as believers this is God’s will). This is vitally important in a believers life to change from glory to glory. What does it mean to deny self?
Denying self means to no longer live to please ourselves. To take this a step further, we surrender all to the power and authority of God. This has to be worked into every area of our life. Our life has one purpose now, to please God.
Taking up our cross requires continued deliberate action on our part. The cross represents death. Everyday we choose to die to our dreams, desires, and rights. In other words, we become single minded with one purpose, knowing Jesus Christ.
follow-190-akoloutheo- from alpha and keleuthos (a road, way) (HELPS Word-studies)
Those who follow Jesus according to scripture, follow their Lord knowing they will walk the same path He walked. And it will be very narrow and difficult. It will be a path of suffering but also a path of eternal life.
Philippians 3:10-11 KJV That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
As we refuse to give place to our self, our desire becomes to know and live God’s will and purpose for our life. Everyone dies, but very few live on purpose. And even fewer live with the single purpose of wanting to know the true living God and His Son. But maturing in our walk with Christ helps us to know the power of His resurrection from the dead. For many it will be offensive to know they will share in Christ’s sufferings. Suffering of any kind goes against all human reasoning. There is a wonderful promise connected to all this. When we follow Jesus as Jesus defines following we have the hope that the same power that raised Him from the dead will raise us from the dead to eternal life.
Philippians 3:13-14 KJV Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
As believers we now live our life with one goal in sight, heaven. We don’t slack off or make excuses because of the difficulty of the path. Our commitment continues in the face of danger and sufferings. One day all of this will be worth the prize we have waiting for us.