In 1892 James G. Dailey, Sr. published a hymn entitled, “Why Did My Savior Come to Earth?” Each stanza and refrain repeatedly answers, “Because He loved me so.” While acknowledging the hymn’s beauty and soul-stirring effect, technically this is not a biblical answer. Scripture clearly affirms God’s love for us,1 but whenever we read of our Savior Jesus Christ’s love, the emphasis is on what he did while living on earth rather than the express purpose of his coming.2
If we allow the Lord himself, in his own recorded words and through his inspired agents, to answer the “why” of his coming, here is what we learn:
· To fulfill the Law and the Prophets (Matt. 5:17).
· To proclaim God’s kingdom (Luke 4:43).
· To call sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32).
· To seek and save lost sinners (Luke 19:10; 1 Tim. 1:15).
· To bring conflict among the noncompliant (Matt. 10:34-38).
· For judgment, giving spiritual sight to the receptive and blindness to the resistant self-reliant (John 9:39).
· To provide the abundant life (John 10:10).
· To serve others, giving his life a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45).
· To suffer and die (John 12:27); to taste death for everyone (Heb. 2:9).
· To destroy the works of the devil and the power of death (Heb. 2:14; 1 John 3:8).
· To release the captives of sin (Heb. 2:15).
· To be a merciful and faithful high priest, make atonement/appeasement for sins, and help those who struggle with temptation (Heb. 2:17-18).
While Dailey’s hymn reminds us of the motivating power of Christ’s love (cf. 2 Cor. 5:14a), when biblically defined love is so much more than an emotionally stirring prompter. The life and teachings of our Savior demonstrate that genuine love is always active and outwardly focused, having the recipients’ best interests at heart. Why did my Savior come to earth? The Bible provides a number of reasons, but maybe love is the best single-word summation of them all.
--Kevin L. Moore
1 John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; Eph. 2:4; 1 John 3:1; 4:9-11, 19.
2 Mark 10:21; John 11:3, 5, 36; 13:1, 23, 34; 15:9, 12, 13; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20; Rom. 8:35, 37; 2 Cor. 5:14; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 3:19; 5:2, 25; 1 John 3:16; Rev. 3:9; also John 14:21 with reference to what he will do.
Related Posts: When God is Able But Not Willing
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