Monday, June 2, 2014

PHRASE STUDY - "I HAVE COME TO...."

There are some key phrases that Jesus said that I love to read or hear read which declare why He came.

  1. "I have come...". 
  2. "I have not come to ____ but to ____."
  3. "I will come..." 
  4. "Until I come..."
The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Hebrews, and Revelation hold these phrases of purpose.  If there was anybody in the world that I appreciate being clear on the why of His actions it was Jesus.  He was bringing a spirit, freedom, and law of grace that challenged the old standard of ritual, tradition, and letter of The Law.  Praise God, Jesus fulfilled every letter of The Law, lived a perfect life, and delivered grace to all through the death on the Old Rugged Cross.

Matthew gets us started by recording Jesus speaking plainly about His relationship with The Law. Jesus said, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.(5:17)  

Jesus answers the what question.  He was here - "to call".  And He answers the who question - "sinners". But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (Matthew 9:13)

Jesus knew that His mission and message would arm/weaponize those who know that life is a spiritual battle. "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:34)

Jesus knew that His coming would result in division in some families.  For I have come to turn " 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law-- (Matthew 10:35)

Jesus came to preach the Good News.  Jesus replied, "Let us go somewhere else--to the nearby villages--so I can preach there also. That is why I have come." (Mark 1:38)

"I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!" (Luke 12:49)

Jesus reveals who He represents.  I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. (John 5:43)

Jesus answers where and why in one shot.  For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. (John 6:38)

Jesus declares the same God they worship is His Father and that He came from Him on a mission.  Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. (John 8:42)

Jesus did not come to judge.  There are a handful of verses opposing that view one of which is John 3:17. The following verse is not meant to portray that idea.  Jesus visits earth the first time to receive the full weight of the wrath or judgment of God that was due us because of disobedience from Adam forward.  Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind." (John 9:39)

Jesus answers that His mission is not only life giving, it is excessive life giving in quality and quantity.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

Jesus provides us with the answer to our original condition of "darkness" - Himself.  I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. (John 12:46)

Jesus displays Himself as the perfect example of a humble servant unto God.  "Then I said, 'Here I am--it is written about me in the scroll-- I have come to do your will, O God.' " (Hebrews 10:9)

In this case Jesus arriving means loss of a church's Lampstand or vision/anointing.  It means a church has fallen out of grace with the Lord and has not repented and done the things in the early years of their relationship with God. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. (Revelation 2:5)

Here is another instance of a church (Sardis) whose deeds were spiritually dead.  Jesus provides them with the antidote but warns them what will happen should they ignore His free, loving advice.  Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. (Revelation 3:3)

Looking up the phrase "what you have" in the original Greek, the word - echo - was used to depict very various applications, literally or figuratively, direct or remote; such as possession, ability, contiguity, relation or condition.  In the following verse we get the command to tarry with all that we have - mind, body, spirit and personal possessions until Christ comes again.  Only hold on to what you have until I come. (Revelation 2:25)

One particular verse I am fond of where Christ is not speaking directly on this subject is 1 John 3:8.  John said, He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work.  I do not have a problem with Adam or Eve and their weakness with disobedience.  Truth be told, you put me in Adam's place and I'm probably going to decide the same fate for humanity.  I hold The Father of Lies responsible.  Lucifer is the one that wanted to play King of the Mountain with God (Isaiah 14:13-14) and lost.  But Satan is the poorest of losers and desires to hurt God by hurting His image - us (Genesis 1:26).  The devil managed to corrupt humanity with a nature of rebellion through Adam, the first man.  But there was a second man who visited earth on humanity's behalf and redeemed our murdered, stolen, and destroyed relationship with God. This Son of God and Son of Man is my Lord, my Savior, my King, and my Friend and His name is Jesus.  This same one is who loved us so much that He said, "I have come to ...." and He did.