Jesus and Mission....
A few posts back, I was ruminating about mission statements. Living (and managing our home) with a clear focus in mind gives us direction for our life. It enables us to choose what is best, even when faced with a number of choices that might be acceptable or good. It helps us to walk purposefully and to get back on track quickly if life temporarily knocks us off course. It pleases our Lord.
Jesus was very clear about his mission. Every day, he was faced with temptations to lose focus, just as we are. (Hebrews 4:15). Satan tempted him to take the easy way out of the glorious goal that God had set before Him. (Matthew 4:1-11, Matthew 16:22-24, Mark 15:29-31). People tried to involve him in their political schemes, which was not the battle he had come to fight. (John 6:15) The Pharisees and other religious figures constantly tested him with questions. Multitudes sought healing from him, and some of them were in line with his mission, while others were following him for selfish reasons. (John 5:26-29).
In the midst of all of that, Jesus chose everything that was best -- everything that perfectly conformed to His Father's will. He did not drift along in life, but steadily walked toward his goal. He knew when to move on, and when to stop to help someone. He didn't carry a day-timer, but his life was fruitful and obedient because he always lived with his Father's will and his mission in mind.
In John 8:29, he said, " The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him." Jesus knew his Father intimately, and He was one with Him. He knew God's priorities, and He was able to choose accordingly. He also knew exactly why he had come to Earth and also that He would return to the Father once his mission was completed.
In John 13:1, God gives us a beautiful portrait of how this focus manifested itself in love for the disciples: Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end...Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet."
Sometimes, we have insecurities, prideful thoughts, and fear when it comes to serving humbly. Jesus had none of these, for He knew who God was, knew who He was, knew what his purpose was, and knew he'd be going to heaven.
The topic of how Jesus lived purposefully when He was on this Earth is too large to cover in a blog post. Below are just a few statements that show how Jesus' mind was fixed on the purpose God had given him.
John 4:24: My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
Luke 19;10 "for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost."
John 10:10 "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."Mark 2:17: I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
Mark 1:38 "Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for thsi purpose, I have come forth."
I John 2:6 says, "He who says He abides in Him ought Himself to walk just as He walked."
For the true Christian, being saved by grace and being in fellowship with Christ motivates us to walk with Him and walk as He did. It means learning from Him and taking on his heart and his mission. This keeps our life directed toward those things which are eternally important, rather than being distracted by all the cares and pleasures of the world. (Matthew 6;33, Luke 10:40-41)
I know for myself that when I let go of this focus, my walk with Christ becomes vague. I have generally good intentions, but they do not come into shape. I become, like Martha in Luke 10, distracted and encumbered.
When I do keep God's specific purposes for our lives in focus, then I bear more specific fruits of obedience. I move from having a superficial form of godliness to experiencing its power in my life.
We want to live according to Jesus purposeful example because it pleases the Lord. However, it also blesses our life. It gives meaning to our days. It helps us choose the best from a wide variety of activities. It gives us confidence and peace. It frees us from feeling burdened by the urgent.