Why Jesus Came (II)

(Note: This article is continued from the first part and is based on John 4:27-37.)
A foible of many of us is not to finish what we start. Perhaps that’s why the Preacher said that “The end of a matter is better than its beginning” (Ecclesiastes 7:8).
Jesus’ food was to “accomplish” or complete the Father’s work. His cry on the cross, “It is finished,” did not signal the agony of defeat, but the shout of having accomplished what he had been sent to do.
Jesus also guarantees our success. God’s word, proclaimed by his servants, will not return void, but will accomplish what he intends (Isaiah 55:11). When he sent his disciples to preach, he promised his constant presence with them (Matthew 28:20), by which he would insure their success. No resistance in the world, no individual refusal to hear, no love of a lie would keep the gospel from growing and his cause from progressing in this world.
Jesus’ said the Father had “work” to be done. He identified the work as gathering fruit for eternal life (v. 36). Our Lord gave his life for a single purpose: to redeem man from sin and restore him to the presence of the Father. The good that Jesus did to others in this life served to highlight his one mission of bringing lost mankind back to the Father.
The church shares this narrow and specific mission. We give our lives, as did Jesus, for a spiritual purpose, not to accomplish physical or material ends. Our tools are spiritual, too: the Word of God and the preaching of the gospel. We may, individually, serve others in many ways, but we know that the greatest good we may do for another is to save his soul.
Someone said we should eat to live rather than live to eat. But spiritually Jesus said he lived to eat — to do his Father’s will and save as many as possible. We do the same.
This is why Jesus came. And this is our mission as Christians and as his church in the world today.
As beautiful as the ivory-billed woodpecker is, nothing is so attractive as saving a person and leading him to eternal life.
Have you eaten this food lately?

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