What Exactly was Jesus’ Mission?
We observed last time that Jesus accepted His mission from the Father, and did not modify the mission in anyway.
If Jesus made His entire life’s purpose to honor and obey the Father, it should make you think carefully: What is your purpose in life? What is your mission in life? And, who gets to decide what your mission is, you?
As promised, this brief essay is to enumerate exactly what Jesus’ mission was. The Bible gives us the details.
The first specific clue as to what Jesus’ mission was comes from an intimate conversation that the Father had with Messiah. We know about this conversation because Messiah shared it with Isaiah the prophet, and Isaiah wrote it down:
And now the Lord says— he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord and my God has been my strength—6 he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
Two powerful words represent the two parts of Messiah Jesus’ mission: restore and salvation.
1) Jesus was sent on a mission to restore the tribes of Jacob, and
2) Jesus was sent on a mission to bring salvation to the ends of the earth.
It is interesting that after Jesus’ resurrection, He verbally passed this mission along. Here is an example from Acts 26 beginning in verse 14:
14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; 17 rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’
Do you see the mission of restoration that Jesus gives to Saul? So you see the mission of saving people from the kingdom of Satan that Jesus gives to Saul? And do you see the exact same two groups mentioned that were mentioned by Isaiah? Yes! The offspring of Jacob, and the gentiles. Wow.
Jesus was given a specific mission which He accepted. His mission included two parts: rescuing the tribes of Jacob, and bringing salvation to the entire planet.
But I find His “hand-off” to Saul a little puzzling. Saul seems, at first glance, to be more than a little bit defective. Perhaps you’re asking the same question: Why would Jesus be so careful to fulfill His mission with such precision and fidelity, only to hand it off to a pretty defective guy? More on that next time.
May God bless you as you think about what your mission is life should be, and who should decide that question.