Often when asked this question we simply answer with why Jesus died. I am asking a different question. Why did he live? Why did God inspire men to write down the stories of his life and fill pages with his quotes? If the sole purpose of the life of Jesus was the death of Jesus, why would we need so much other information?
God has never spoken more clearly than He did through Jesus.
In John 14:6-7 the disciple who Jesus loved wrote, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Jesus communicated and demonstrated who God is.
Jesus, also, communicated and demonstrated who we are.
How did Jesus accomplish all of this in 33 years of life and only 3 years of public ministry? Jesus is perfectly God and perfectly man.
Here are a few truths we should learn from the life of Jesus.
1. Jesus lived to be Truth and to bear the truth. In John 14:6, Jesus says he is “the Truth.” In John 18:37 he says he came to bear witness to the truth. Jesus being God, is the truth. Jesus being man is responsible to bear the truth. He is perfectly God and perfectly man.
2. Jesus lived to be the Law and to bear the Law. In Matthew 5:17 Jesus tells us he did not abolish the Law but he completed it. There is a story found in John 4 that speaks to immeasurable power of this truth. There is a woman that is caught in adultery and, by the Law of Moses, deserves to be stoned. Jesus is asked what to do with her. He says that the person without sin should cast the first stone. None do. Jesus looks at her and says, “Neither do I condemn you…Go and sin no more.” Jesus was without sin and could have stoned her. He did not because he would take that stoning on her behalf at the cross. He had to face every trial and temptation we face to bear the price of this sin. He is the Law and he paid the price of that Law.
3. Jesus lived to be the Light and bring the Light. In John 8:12 Jesus says he is the “Light of the World.” The power of his light is seen in his interaction with a Samaritan woman at a well. While talking about the life he came to offer he speaks to her of her husband. She says she does not have one. He agrees and says, in fact, you have had 5 husbands and the one you are with now is not your husband. It was true. The truth he spoke and the hope he gave her caused her to share the good news of Jesus with her village. Jesus did not live simply to show her how darkness was. He lived to be the very Light he would bring.
4. Jesus lived to be righteousness and to bring righteousness. In Matthew 9:13 Jesus says he did not come to call righteous, but sinners. We see this truth in his interaction with Zaccheus, a thieving tax collector, who wanted to see Jesus. Jesus called him from the tree he was in and went to his house. This interaction caused the self-righteous of the day to condemn Jesus for eating with sinners. That day Zaccheus repented of his lifestyle and committed to repay with interest what he had stolen. Jesus came to be the very righteousness he would bring.
5. Jesus lived to be change and to bring change. In Matthew 10:34-39 Jesus speaks of the difficulty of following him. He says that it will require son to turn against father and daughter against mother. The call is one to highest allegiance. The call to follow Christ is a call to any and every cost. We see this in the lives of the disciples who were fisherman and tax collectors and who left everything and everyone they knew to follow Jesus. They stepped outside of every cultural expectation to follow him. Jesus did not simply come to bring change. He, himself, is the change.
6. Jesus lived to be life and to bring life. In John 10:10 Jesus says he came to bring life and that life to abundance. We see the power of his ability to bring life in the resurrection of Lazarus. He called a dead man out of the grave and told those around him to unbind him from his grave clothes and let him go. Jesus is the very life we need, but he also lived so that he might personally bring this life to others.
Who is this?
Who speaks life where there is death?
Who unbinds the bound? Who frees the fettered?
Who calls out the corpse? Who gives life to the lost?
Who gives way to wayward? Who gives hope to the hopeless?
Who give grace to those too far gone?
Who is this?
Is this a man? Or is this God? YES.
Jesus is. Jesus is perfectly God and Jesus is perfectly man.