I believe the primary purpose of Jesus’ ministry on earth was one of reconciliation. That is, Jesus’ primary purpose – His reason for coming into this world - was to seek and to save what was lost (Luke 19:10). I believe seeking and saving the lost is an umbrella statement that covers everything else Jesus said or did.
I do not believe His purpose was ultimately to preach the kingdom, fulfill Old Testament prophecy, perform miracles, or glorify God. When I say those things weren’t His purpose ultimately, what I mean is that they don’t represent the end goal Jesus had in mind. He did do all of those things and I in no way mean to minimize their importance, but the ultimate purpose behind each of those actions was salvation. Defeating sin and death in order to restore fellowship between a fallen world and the Father - eternally – was the end goal for Jesus.
Have you ever thought about what the name “Jesus” means?
Names are significant in the Bible, and they have a variety of functions.
For instance, a biblical name could record some aspects of a person’s birth. Moses was given his name because his mother drew him out of a river (Exodus 2:10). His name literally means “to draw out.” Jacob and Samuel also serve as examples (Genesis 25:6; 1 Samuel 1:20).
Biblical names sometimes expressed the parents’ reaction to the birth of their child. Examples include Isaac (Genesis 21:6) which means “laughter”, and Abimelech (Judges 8:31) which means “my father is king.”
Biblical names were sometimes used to secure the solidarity of family ties. An example of this is found in Luke 1:59 when John the Baptist was nearly given the name of his father.
Biblical names could be used to communicate God’s message. The prophet Isaiah named his first son Shear-jashub which means “a remnant shall return” (Isaiah 7:3). This was in line with God’s message to the Israelite people that they would be reduced to a mere remnant of what they once were, and would eventually return from exile to the promised land.
Biblical names were also used to establish affiliation with God. All the names ending with -jah or -el (and there are many of those) are saying “with the Lord” or “with God.”
Then you have the giving of a new name. This was used to establish authority over another, or to indicate a new beginning or new direction in a person’s life. For instance, Pharaoh changed Joseph’s name to Zephenath-paneah when Joseph entered his service (Genesis 41:45), another Pharaoh changed the name of the Jewish king Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim (2 Kings 23:24). While in Babylonian captivity, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were forced to change their names to Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 1:6-7). Name changes indicating a new life direction include Abram to Abraham (Genesis 17:5), Cephas to Peter (Mark 3:16), and some would say Saul to Paul (Acts 13:9).
Here’s the really interesting part: names were often used to express the nature and function of a person. They were used to indicate a person’s purpose in the world, and the greatest example of this type of naming is Jesus. Check it out:
20 But after [Joseph] had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
“Because He will save people from their sins.”
The name “Jesus” literally means “the Lord saves.”
What’s His primary purpose? What’s the overarching mission that every action falls under?
Just look to His name – “to save people from their sins.”
Has Jesus saved you?
Because the benefits of allowing Him into your life don’t begin in heaven – they begin now.
If you want to chat about it, feel free to email me: email@example.com