If you ask a number of people why Christ came, you’ll receive a number of answers. You might hear someone say:
- “He came to bring world peace.”
- “He came to teach us the way.”
- “He came to set up a kingdom.”
- “He came to bring economic justice.”
The list goes on and on and many answers are based on partial truth. But wouldn’t it be better to let Jesus speak for Himself?
Jesus stepped onto the scene and referred to a 400-year-old prophecy to tell us why He came. He quoted Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor, He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” What is He saying? It has something to do with good news, with healing hearts, and setting someone free; that much is clear from the text.
Let’s translate this in plain language. Jesus states, “God has sent me on a mission. I have some good news for you. God has sent me to restore and release something – and that something is you. I am here to give you back your heart and set you free.” Christ could have chosen any one of a thousand other passages to explain His life purpose, but He chose this passage above all the others. The heart of His mission is to restore and release you. But release you for what purpose?
One purpose is found in Galatians 5:13-14. It says, “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
So what do you need to be set free from so that you can genuinely love others? Anger, doubt, fear, thinking you are not worthy of love, insecurities, pride, debt, stress, people pleasing, financial burdens, jealousy, not trusting others, worry, a critical attitude, lack of self control, greed, guilt, selfishness, shame. Here’s the challenge to you and me—let’s make it our goal to live out of our freedom this year to love others!