The Purpose of Jesus
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
It is so amusing to deal with people who misunderstand Jesus. Common popular opinion about him is either too hard or too soft. People make Jesus out to be a softy, that he loves everyone including everything they do. Well, he does love everyone, but he does not love everything we do, so we can’t conclude that Jesus is a softy. Neither can we make him out to be the other extreme. He is not harsh with us because he knows we struggle with sin; he offers forgiveness for all of our sins past, present and future. That doesn’t sound like a harsh Lord at all. So what is Jesus?
Think of why people come to America. The Pilgrims came here to be free from religious oppression. They found, as well as all the people in boats that followed also found, that a rich and satisfying life is found in being free.
Freeing is the best word to describe Jesus. When we believe in Jesus, God counts that act as righteousness for us. (See Romans 3:22) That’s it. We are free from having to be a good person, a good rule keeper, a good citizen, a good whatever. That doesn’t mean we do whatever we want though because when you believe in someone you agree with them. Believing in Jesus simultaneously means agreeing with his prescription for our lives found in God’s Word. But it is a very freeing way to live knowing that your life doesn’t depend on how perfectly you carry it out.
So, if Jesus frees me from the most burdensome of burdens (sin and death), then is it logical to conclude that he wants me to struggle with other burdens in its place? No, that is not a logical conclusion. Jesus did not free me from the worst of things so that I can be imprisoned by something else. If there is anything I cling to out of fear that is surely from the Enemy because his purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus’ purpose is to give me a rich and satisfying life...FREE!
Christmas shopping out of obligation, dieting out of fear, obsessive medicating to control, pleasing to appease, trusting in money, relationships, status or any other thing but Jesus is stealing, killing and destroying the JOY that we are supposed to be full of. If there is any burden I take on, it isn’t from Jesus because Jesus says his burdens aren’t burdens at all...
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Especially during this time of year, deemed “hectic” by society, Jesus has not burdensome things planned for our lives. I hope people who can’t afford whatever magical, perfect Christmas they’re trying to aim for simply abandon those plans and see what God does in their lives instead. Months of post Christmas debt doesn’t sound like freedom, and it doesn’t sound rich and satisfying either. And a rich and satisfying life is what Jesus is all about!
Thank you for your Son who gives me a rich and satisfying life. Forgive me for taking on burdens of my own imagination. It so silly for me to invite theft and destruction into my life of my own volition when Jesus freed me and saved me from that kind of life. Thank you for the freedom and the joy that comes from life with you. I love you and thank you and pray in Jesus’ name, amen.