Scripture records several answers to the question, “Why did Jesus come?” Here are several reasons from Jesus’ own lips:
– That His people would have abundant life (John 10:10)
– To seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10)
– To destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8)
– To serve and give His life a ransom (Mark 10:45)
– To save the world (John 9:39)
And this is just a short list! I highly recommend checking out this article by John Piper.
Primary and Secondary Causes
But why – primarily – did Jesus come? This seems to be a fair question, because we often encounter primary and secondary causes in life. For example, when my wife was pregnant, she sent me to the store for various and sundry things to satiate her appetite. If someone were to see me at the store and ask me why I was there, I could give several secondary answers, such as:
- “to get chocolate”
- “my wife is hungry”
- “we’re having a baby and need food…fast!”
The Glory of God
But, while true, none of these answers would be the ultimate answer. The ultimate answer would be “I love my wife…”
- It is at the hour of His death that we find Jesus speaking in ultimate terms:
- John 12:27 “Jesus said, “For this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.”
- In Jesus’ High Priestly prayer (John 17:1-4) just before He was betrayed, Jesus said, “glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you” (vs. 1) and “I glorified you on earth” (vs. 4)
- The timing of these words – right before Jesus goes to the cross – highlights their importance.
It was at the hour of His death that Jesus reveals the overarching purpose of His incarnation: He came to glorify God.
For further reading: What does it mean to “glorify God”?