The Mission of Jesus in the World
TEXT: Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
The Gospel of Luke gives us a beautiful portrait of our compassionate Savior. Jesus was not turned off by the poor and the needy; in fact, they were a primary focus of His ministry. Israel at the time of Jesus was a very class-conscious society.
This morning I would like us to look at the mission of Christ in the world.
- MESSAGE OF LOVE
Mark 12:28-31 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Why did the scribe ask this question? At this time, there were 613 laws:
- 365—one for each day of the year, were negative.
- 248–positive-generations from Adam to that point in time.
God is to be loved completely and totally (v. 30) because he, and he alone, is God and because he has made a covenant of love with his people.
In the covenant God gives himself totally in love to his people; therefore he expects his people to give themselves totally.
Jesus gives the sources out of which love for God should flow. We should love God with all our will (decisions), emotions (desires), minds (thoughts), and bodies (actions).
- Heart represents the control center of human personality,
- Mind the self-conscious thought life, “mind” the thought capacity, and
- Strength all of one’s bodily powers.
Those who pursue God and His righteousness, who take seriously the command to love Him above all else, are those who are consumed with the things of God. They are eager to study God’s Word, eager to pray, eager to obey and honor God in all things, and eager to share Jesus Christ with others. It is through these spiritual disciplines that the love for God grows and matures to the glory of God.
Love for man in Leviticus 19:18 grows out of love for God in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and is inseparable from it. The Jews regarded only fellow Jews and full proselytes as their neighbors, but Jesus taught that a neighbor is anyone with whom we have any dealings whatsoever (cf. Luke 10:25-27). “Neighbor” (Gr. lit. one nearby) is a generic term for fellowman.
We are to love all others as we love ourselves. The Law assumed that every person has a fundamental love for himself or herself. We demonstrate this love by caring for ourselves in many different ways.
Loving our neighbors as ourselves does not mean spending the same time or money to meet the needs of others that we do to meet our own needs since this would be impossible. It means treating others as we treat ourselves.
In Summary Jesus answer was: Love God and love people.
- MESSAGE OF SALVATION (MARK 1:14-15, MATT 13:44-47; 22:2, LUKE 4:43)
Many Scriptures in the Bible plainly talk about the message of Jesus as being the message of salvation.
Mark 1:14-15 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”
Luke 4:43-44 But he said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
Jn. 5:24–Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
Jn. 6:47–Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.
Ro. 5:8-9–But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
Eph. 2:8-10–For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
1Jn. 5:13–These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
The message of salvation is probably the single most important theme in the Scriptures as far as man himself is concerned.
It relates to all of mankind in one way or another without exception. It is the theme of Bible, and it centers on the greatest Person–the Lord Jesus Christ.
From God’s perspective salvation includes the total work of God in bringing people
- from condemnation to justification,
- from death to eternal life,
- from being enemies to being followers.
From the human perspective the message of salvation incorporates all of the blessings that being in Christ brings both in this life and the life to come.
Why would God want to save man?
- This was the greatest and most obvious demonstration of God’s love. His good gifts in nature and through His providential care (though they are very great) do not come close to displaying God’s love as does His giving His Son to be our Savior.
- Salvation gives God a display of His grace throughout all eternity (Eph. 2:7). Each saved person will be a special trophy of God’s grace forever. Only redeemed human beings (like you and I) can provide this display.
- God also wanted a people who would do good works in this life and thus give the world a glimpse, though imperfect, of God who is good–Eph. 2:10.
The Content of the Gospel
- Christ died for our sins (proved by His being buried) and the resurrection of Christ (proved by His being seen).
- Salvation is conditioned solely on faith in Jesus Christ. Nearly 200 times is faith or –belief stated as the single condition in NT–Jn. 1:12; Ac. 16:31. That faith must be placed in Christ as one’s substitute for and Savior from sin.
Anything added onto this results in a gospel of works and it is no more by grace.
Christ’s message was about repentance–a genuine change of mind that affects life in some way; regarding Christ’s message of salvation, it means a change of mind about
- The consequences of sin,
- The value of one’s own good works, and
- The value of Christ’s work on the cross.
Finally, Christ came to bring a
- MESSAGE OF LIBERATION (LUKE 4:18)
Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
These two verses summarize Jesus’ mission on earth.
His first sermon was about him—all sermons should be about Him.
He came to deal with sin and all its effects—One disease; different manifestations.
What does the anointing consist of? To preach to the rich? Ever heard someone say, “I feel the anointing upon me!” The anointing consists of the things that are not always tasteful; are not appealing. Who are the poor?
- The unattractive
- The forgotten
- The victimized by circumstances
- Crippled by the enemy
- those who are destitute of the comforts of this life, and who therefore may be more readily disposed to seek treasures in heaven; all those who are sensible of their sins, or are poor in spirit (Matt. 5:3)
John Piper: “It is true that when a person becomes a follower of Jesus, his life changes. But it is also true that the way we win people to the greatness of Christ includes doing the great things he was sent to do. A verbal witness to the value of Jesus Christ without a life of radical commitment to the things he stood for will produce converts who are carbon copies of our fallen culture. Therefore, lifestyles of simplicity for the sake of love are essential if we want to make true disciples.”
Broken hearted cry a lot; it is not easy to walk through one who is broken hearted; Hebrews 4:15
Bruised people–They fall back, they are reserved, and they are protective.
Sin bruises, it crushes.
John Piper: “We need to declare unashamedly and reasonably that the greatest and most loving thing we can do for anyone is release them from the captivity of sin (Romans 6:22–23), heal them from the blindness of unbelief (Acts 26:17ff; 2 Corinthians 4:4), and set them at liberty from the oppression of Satan (2 Timothy 2:26). Efforts at social improvement that neglect this great goal will be looked back on by poor people in hell as a horrible form of ecclesiastical malpractice.”
Illustrate: Naivasha maximum prison; Informal settlements
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever. He revolutionized lives then, he is still in the business of revolutionizing lives today.
We Christians need to discover our world, find out what God is doing in it, and then become a part of it. Only then will we be able to accomplish God’s will for our life. God desires that we increase our involvement in His work in the world today. I pray that we become more involved in ministry activities in our own community and in the world
Friends, a man cannot obey the greatest commandment when he has his heart bruised and mind is bruised by sin. But Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever. He revolutionized lives then, he is still in the business of revolutionizing lives today.
God bless you.
Rev. Joseph Mbuvi