“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.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). ~ Matthew 1:21-23 NIV
The birth of a baby is one of the most exciting moments that parents and especially new grandparents experience. A new baby is indicative of the blessing of life, just like a breath of fresh air. It also brings a multitude of questions, of which most paramount is, why this baby? What is God’s plan for this new, fresh bundle of joy? Why is he/she here? I can vividly recall holding my son when he was 6 months old, rocking back and forth in one of the most comfortable rocking chairs I ever sat, pondering “what will you become?”
In pondering these questions, parents are really wondering what purpose is my child to fulfill? That eventually becomes the existential question we all face. Why am I here? Why does God have me on his earth?
This Sunday begins the advent season, a time of reflective preparation for celebrating the birth of Jesus and to rejoice in the fulfillment put forth by the prophet Isaiah (Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6). Yet, the most principal issue is why was he born? What was his purpose?
Scripture offers overarching elements tied to Jesus in becoming human and living among us which illuminate why he came. Specifically, Jesus was born providentially on purpose to die strategically with effectual intent (Galatians 4:4). Simply, Jesus was born on purpose to die with purpose.
A reason many people are not in right relationship with God the Father is because they do not know why Jesus, the Son of God, came on the scene. To the unspiritual soul, to the unregenerate heart, it doesn’t openly appear why he was here!
The Bible states, “for this purpose the Son of God was manifested (appeared)…” (I John 3:5, 8). The crucial key for understanding purpose is manifestation, meaning “made known to those whom it is shown.”
The issue we sometimes face is that purpose is not readily known. Pertaining to things of God, purpose must be manifested or revealed. To some degree, when the purpose of God becomes clear, then the plan of God is better understood.
Back in the day, a reluctant teenager not doing as instructed by their parents may have felt the brunt of these words, “If you don’t do what I told you to do, I’ll knock you into next week. If you don’t believe me, I can show you better than tell you!” The point is that some things can better be known when shown.
Positively this phrase meant, “you can understand what I am saying better if I show you rather than just describe it to you in words.” Thus, to better understand what God was saying in the Old Testament, He showed it in the New Testament in the sending of his son. The apostle Paul put it this way, “but God showed (demonstrated) his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8 NLT).
The reason for Jesus’ manifestation was based on God’s purpose. Matthew 1:21-23 presents a two-fold overarching purpose for why Jesus came. One, for God to show Himself—reveal Himself in the person of Jesus being Immanuel (John 1:18; 14:6-9). Two, for God to save us—redeem, reconcile and restore humanity unto Himself through Jesus being the Messiah (Romans 5:9,10; 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19).
This advent season, celebrate the Christ-child, whose birth, life, death and resurrection were the most important and impactful of all in human history. Reflect on John 3:16, 17 and share with someone the depth of God’s love and the intended purpose of Christ’s coming.
Rev. Johnson Beaven III is a theological educator, ministry mentor and speaker. For more information, view linktr.ee/johnsonbeaven. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @jbeaven.