CHRISTMAS: WHY JESUS CAME INTO THE WORLD

BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO

“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5 NKJV). 

There is no better way to learn about Christmas than to go to the Bible. Although the word “Christmas” does not appear in the Bible, the Bible records the event that gives credence to Christmas: the birth of Jesus.

Some people celebrate Christmas ignorantly while some celebrate Christmas knowing what it is about: In many nations, the social events associated with the celebration overshadow the real essence of Christmas. In celebrating Christmas, it is important to know why Jesus came into the world, born as a baby by Mary, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger (Luke 2:12). Jesus spoke many times about why He came into the world. The Bible records this in many places. While the main reason Jesus came into the world was to save the world, there are other reasons related to this, which we should also consider as we celebrate Christmas. These reasons overlap.

Reasons Jesus came into the world

1. To fulfil the law and the Prophets. Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17 NKJV). The New Living Translation puts it this way: “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.” Jesus came to accomplish the purpose of the Law of Moses and the writings of the prophets, not to abolish them.

Hebrews 10:1a says the law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming — not the realities themselves.  The law is a shadow; Christ is the reality. Colossians 2:16-18 says, “So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality” (New Living Translation).  Jesus came to fulfil the Law of Moses and the writings of the prophets, not to abolish them. Christ is the fulfilment of the law. The Apostle Paul says, “Christ is the fulfillment of Moses’ Teachings so that everyone who has faith may receive God’s approval” (GOD’S WORD Translation).  According to Jesus, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished (Matthew 5:18).

Jesus came to do what the Law of Moses could not do. The law couldn’t save “The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit” (Romans 8:3-4 New Living Translation).

2. To show the love of God to the world. God sent Jesus into the world because of His love for the world. His plan to save the world through the death of Jesus on the cross was borne out of love. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 NKJV). If God didn’t love the world, Jesus wouldn’t have been born on the first Christmas as a baby. Jesus came into the world to show the love of God to the world.

3. To save the world – seek and save the lost. This is what the love of God for the world aims to achieve. God, out of love, wanted to save the world. Therefore, He sent Jesus to become a human being and seek and save all humans who are lost. Galatians 4:4-5 says, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (NKJV). God sent Jesus to redeem those who were under the law. In other words, He sent Jesus to come and redeem or save sinners.

That’s why Jesus said at the house of Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:9-10 NKJV). Here Jesus talked about why He came: to seek and save the lost. He was born for this purpose. Zacchaeus was one of the lost people Jesus came to save, and He saved him that day. Every sinner today is lost and needs salvation.

When Jesus was in the house of Levi, the son of Alphaeus, a tax collector, and was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, the scribes and the Pharisees, asked His disciples why He was eating and drinking with them (Mark 2:16).

Jesus heard what they said and replied, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (verse 17 NKJV). Note here that Jesus again pointed out why He came into the world. He came to call sinners to repentance. He came to seek and save the lost.

Jesus said in John 12:47-48, “And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (NKJV). Note the phrase “I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.” Jesus said earlier in John 3:17 that God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. Are you saved? Do you believe in Jesus who was born at Christmas?

4. To die for the world. No Christmas, no Easter! In other words, if Jesus had not been born at Christmas, He wouldn’t have died at Easter. Jesus’ death and resurrection would not be celebrated if He had not been born. Jesus was born a baby to die at the appointed time to save the world.

At different times before His arrest, Jesus told His disciples of His impending death. He knew that He was born to die for the world and would be resurrected on the third day. He said in Matthew 12:40, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (NKJV). Jesus was referring to His death and resurrection.

Jesus came to die for the world. He said, “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour” (John 12:27 NKJV). What purpose was Jesus talking about? He was talking about His suffering that would result in His death. Jesus also said that He didn’t come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many or to give His life to redeem many people (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45).

5. To do the will of God. Jesus came into the world not to do His will but the will of God, His Father. This is another reason to note this Christmas and emulate. Jesus said, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:38-40 NKJV).

He said in John 4:34 that His food was to do the will of Him who sent Him and to finish His work. Also in John 5:30b, He said He didn’t seek His will but the will of the Father who sent Him. In the Garden of Gethsemane, before His arrest, Jesus remained committed to doing the will of God. While he was sorrowful and deeply distressed, He prayed, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39 NKJV).

It was the will of God for Jesus to come into this world and die, and He did the will of His Father. Hebrews 10:5-7 says,Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: ‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, my God’” (NIV).

You, too, are not in this world to do your will, but the will of God who sent you. Are you doing your will or His will? Jesus taught His disciples to pray that the will of God be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10; Luke 11:2).

6. To preach the good news, heal, set free, comfort, and console. Isaiah 61:1-3 records the prophecy about the ministry of Jesus thus: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified” (NKJV).

In Luke 4, after reading this prophecy, stopping at “to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,” Jesus said in verse 21, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (NKJV). In other words, He confirmed that the prophecy was referring to Him and He had come to fulfil it. Remember that Jesus came into the world to fulfil the Law of Moses and the writings of the prophets. Jesus preached the gospel and performed different kinds of miracles thus His ministry fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy that He quoted. Acts 10:38 says God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power; He went around doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

Jesus, in His ministry, fulfilled the signs of the coming Messiah, which the Prophet Isaiah had prophesied. Isaiah 35:5-6 says, “And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland” (New Living Translation).

When John the Baptist, who was in prison asked his disciples to ask Jesus if He was the One (Messiah) they had been expecting or if they should wait for someone else, Jesus referred to the miracles in His ministry to confirm that He was the expected Messiah. “Jesus replied, ‘Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me’” (Matthew 11:4-6 NIV).

Jesus came into the world to preach the good news but also to save, heal, and deliver. He told His disciples in Mark 1:38, “Let us go somewhere else — to the nearby villages — so I can preach there also. That is why I have come” (NIV). Verse 39 says that He travelled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. That’s one of the reasons Jesus came into the world.

7. For judgment – to separate those who believe in Him from those who reject Him. “Then Jesus said, ‘I came into this world for judgment [to separate those who believe in Me from those who reject Me—to declare judgment on those who choose to be separated from God], so that the sightless would see, and those who see would become blind’” (John 9:39 Amplified Bible).

Jesus came to separate those who believe in Him from those who don’t believe. He came to open the eyes of the spiritually blind. During His earthly ministry, those who responded to His message received their spiritual sight but the self-righteous religious leaders who didn’t believe that they were blind remained spiritually blind. Thus, the blind were made to see and those who claimed to see were made blind. Jesus came to put a separation between those whose spiritual eyes were opened and those who remained spiritually blind. This is still true today. Based on people’s responses to Jesus, there is a separation between those who can see and those who are blind.

Jesus further said in John 12:46, “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness” (NKJV). In the time of Jesus, those who didn’t believe in Him continued in darkness; they were spiritually blind. Today, some people have remained spiritually blind while the eyes of others have been opened and are being opened. As Jesus says in John 3:18, whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because He has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the judgment Jesus said He came for, even though in John 12:37, He also said He did not come to judge the world but to save the world. There is no contradiction here. Jesus came to save the world but those who reject Him are under His judgment – the condemnation of His words. Jesus said,There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day” (John 12:48 NIV).

8. To bring division. This is another reason Jesus gave for coming into the world. Jesus said in Luke 12:49-53, “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law” (NKJV).

Jesus didn’t come into the world purposely to cause war or crisis. One of His names is “The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). But Jesus was talking about the effect of His teachings. Some of His teachings contradicted the established beliefs and practices. Some people believed in His teachings while others didn’t.

Therefore, there were divisions among family members, which Jesus also said, in Matthew 10:34-39, that He had come to bring. Just as Jesus said, there is division in many families and societies today between those who believe in Jesus and His teachings and those who do not. Jesus didn’t intentionally cause this but people’s opposition to Him and His teachings did.

9. To give peace. This does not contradict the last reason. As I have said, Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). He came to give us peace. He came so that you can have peace with God, yourself, and others. As Ephesians 2:14 says, Jesus is our peace. After an angel had announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds who were keeping watch over their flock by night, a multitude of the heavenly host joined the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14 NKJV). Note the phrase “on earth peace.” Jesus came to give the earth peace.

Through Jesus Christ, the world is reconciled back to God. In other words, He came to bring peace between God and humanity. “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:19-20 NKJV).

When someone accepts Jesus as His Lord and Saviour, he has peace with God. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1 NKJV).

Jesus came so that everyone who believes in Him will have peace with himself/herself. In John 14:27, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (NKJV). When someone becomes a child of God and begins to feed on the Word of God, He will begin to have peace with himself/herself and can strive to live in peace with others. The Apostle Paul said that believers should, if it is possible, as much as depends on them, live in peace with everyone (Romans 12:18). He also said, “Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11 NKJV). Jesus came so that you can have peace with God, yourself, and others.

10. To be a king and testify to the truth. Jesus was born a king. The angel Gabriel told Mary that the Lord God would give the baby she would give birth to, Jesus, the throne of His father David, and He would reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom would never end (Luke 1:32-33). Jesus was born a king.

Matthew 2:1-2 says, “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him’” (NKJV). Note the phrase “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?”

One of the charges the Jews brought against Jesus before Pilate was that He called Himself the king of the Jews and this was written over His head on the cross (Matthew 27:37; Mark 15:26; Luke 23:38; John 19:19). Jesus is not only the King of the Jews; He is the King of all kings and Lord of all lords (Revelation 19:16; 17:14).

When Pilate, who had asked Jesus if He was the king of the Jews, said He was a king, Jesus replied, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (John 18:37 NIV). But earlier in verse 36, Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world. He added that if it were, His servants would fight so that He should not be delivered to the Jews. He said His kingdom was not of this world – it didn’t have its origin on earth; it’s not an earthly kingdom.

Jesus’ rule as king was not like that of earthly kings. He said that He came to testify to the truth and everyone who was of the truth listened to Him. Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” and then went out again to tell the Jews he found no fault in Jesus (John 18:39).

In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (NKJV). As a king, Jesus came to testify to the truth. During His earthly ministry, Jesus testified to the truth always. In John 3:11, He said, “I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony” (NIV).

Also, in John 8:34, He said, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin” (NIV). Referring to Himself, the One who came from heaven and was above all, He said in verse 32, “He [Jesus] testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony” (NIV). Jesus taught the people the truth to make them free. He said in John 8:32, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (NKJV). He came into the world to testify to the truth but he was rejected. He told the Jews, “As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things” (John 8:40 NIV). They eventually crucified Him because they hated the truth.

11. To give abundant life. Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (NKJV). This scripture tells us another reason Jesus came into the world. The Amplified Bible puts John 10:10 this way: “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and give those who believe in Him abundant life. “He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:3 NIV). 

However, each person must believe in Jesus Christ and accept Him as his Lord and Saviour before he can enjoy the abundant life that He gives. Unfortunately, every year many people celebrate Christmas without Jesus Christ in their lives.

Conclusion: God has given the best gift to the world, and it is Jesus Christ. Have you received Him into your life? Have you given your life to Jesus? Have you accepted Him as your Lord and Saviour?  Don’t celebrate Christmas this year without a living relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Celebrating Christmas without Christ is meaningless. Don’t engage in social activities or entertainment this season and miss the reason for the season.  Give your life to Jesus today.

If you are born again, use this season to introduce sinners to Jesus Christ. Everybody celebrating Christmas should have a living relationship with God through Christ Jesus.

TAKE ACTION!

If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947
Email: cedarministryintl@yahoo.com,
cedarministryng@gmail.com
Website: www.cedarministry.org

BE OUR FINANCIAL PARTNER 
Account Name: Cedar Ministry International
Bank: Heritage Bank Plc.
Naira Account: 6001608129
US Dollar Account: 2100077073