Why Jesus Came

By Pastor Teck Uy

Christians can cite reasons why Jesus came into this world two thousand years ago. Many of these reasons are correct, since they are based on what the Bible tells us. However, it is also good to know what Jesus had to say about his coming. When Jesus was told that everyone was looking for him after he healed many who were sick and delivered others from demon possession, he said, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come” (Mark 1:38). As far as Jesus is concerned, one of the reasons why he came was to preach. He was not only concentrating on helping those in need, but to proclaim the good news at the same time. It was his desire not only to limit his reach to a certain locality, but also to reach as many people as he could.

But what was this good news that Jesus was to proclaim? The central theme of Jesus’ preaching was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17). He preached repentance as a key to entering the kingdom of God. Repentance is not only being sorry for the sin we committed and confessing it, but to have a change of heart and thus turn away from it. This change is to be a complete renewal, as explained by Jesus to a Pharisee named Nicodemus. He said to him, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:7).

Before his coming, it was almost impossible for anyone to be saved and enter the kingdom of heaven. Salvation then was based on the complete observance of the Law. Any transgression had to be dealt with and the penalty was death. The helplessness and hopelessness of the people then were expressed by James in his epistle when he said, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10). If this is the case, who then can be saved? With the weaknesses of our flesh, we are all capable and susceptible to sin. Therefore, salvation through the Law is almost nil.
The prophet Isaiah gave a grim picture of man’s condition before God when he proclaimed, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isa. 59:1-2). Sin made it impossible for us to enter the kingdom of God. However, the good news that Jesus was proclaiming was that through him, the kingdom of God is now within reach. It was once beyond our reach because of the sins we have committed, yet the Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled the righteous requirement of the Law when he shed his blood and died on the cross. 

By proclaiming repentance, Jesus brings us closer to God. This is the same gospel that an angel proclaimed in the vision that the apostle John saw. This gospel, which he called the eternal gospel, is, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water” (Rev. 14:7). Unless we have the fear of the Lord, repentance is not forthcoming. It is only when we develop a reverential fear that we become sensitive to sin and are quick to repent and turn away from it. As believers, we should live holy and blameless lives so that we can give glory to God.

Did Jesus come in vain? Not so if we repent and are born again. It is only then that we can say that we have acknowledged the good news that he came to preach. Our knowing that he came to save the world from sin is of no value to us if we do not heed his message. In fact, many Christmas carols proclaim this truth, but it appears that these are just hymns and lyrics to people. They enjoy singing these carols, but they do not take the message to heart. If indeed the kingdom of God is at hand, let us be serious about our Christian life. We have to listen to the eternal gospel: Fear the Lord and give glory to Him. Rather than celebrating the birth of Jesus with gifts and every material thing we could think of, let us worship him who created the heavens and the earth. Yes, Jesus came to make a way for us to be saved—he paved the way for us to be able to enter the kingdom of God. Hallelujah!