You may remember the hymn “Why Did My Savior Come To Earth?”, written by J. G. Dailey in 1892. Have you ever stopped for a moment to consider this very question?
We live in a time that seems so divided, a generation where there seems to be so much pain and hurt. Where so many seem to be filled with doubt and confusion. Where the question is asked, “Who can be trusted?” I don’t know if this time is much different than times past. It seems if we are not careful, each generation can lose direction and purpose. How about us? Do we struggle with purpose, do we have times of doubt? Have we experienced pain and hurt? Why did my Savior come to earth? As Mr. Dailey recorded “Why did my Savior come to earth? Why to the humble go? Why choose a lowly birth?” The chorus, as he penned, says, “Because He loved me so.” This simple truth is difficult to understand but it is one we desperately need to know today.
As the Old Testament closes, it does so with a promise and hope of expectation. “Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the Lord of hosts.” (Malachi 3: 1). The Old Testament closes with the expectation of a prophet who would come to prepare the way of the Lord. It closes with the expectation and hope of a Messiah who was promised. It would be 400 years from these words, that God would bring them to fulfillment through the voice of “one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the Lord,” as the prophet Isaiah said.” (ref. John 1: 23). As we step into this moment in time through God’s Word, we step on a stage prepared for the coming Messiah. The expectation has been building as people were searching for the Messiah.
In the Gospel of Luke, we pick up the story of Jesus at His baptism. The Bible tells us that when Jesus was baptized by John the immerser, heaven itself was opened (ref. Luke 3: 21). “And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” (Luke 3: 22). Shortly following His baptism, Jesus being filled with the Holy Spirit, (ref. Luke 4: 1) returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. He returns from the wilderness to Galilee in the power of the Spirit (ref. Luke 4: 14), where Jesus begins teaching in the synagogues. Typically, this is the time in which we understand the “public ministry” of Jesus to have begun.
Luke 4: 16-22 (ESV) "And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”
Why did our Lord come to earth? He came to preach the gospel. He came to heal the brokenhearted. He came to set free the captives. He came to provide recovery of sight to the blind, and He came to proclaim the year of the Lord.
Jesus the Messiah has come to proclaim the Good News!
He came to those who are poor, those who understand their need. Pride will hinder us from seeing and understanding our need for a Savior. Pride blinds us to our sins. Jesus said in (Matthew 5: 3), “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Opening the door to the kingdom of heaven begins with understanding our need for a Savior. Faith is opposed to pride. The faith of a small child is a faith that is dependent upon others. It is a faith that trusts in what they cannot do for themselves. This is the faith that the Lord desires; a faith that understands our need and looks to Jesus the Messiah to supply what we are lacking and cannot supply.
Jesus has come to release the captives. The language in Luke’s gospel suggests we have been taken captive as a “prisoner of war”. Sin holds us captive, and God’s Anointed has come to release us for the bondage and captivity of sin. The apostle Paul recorded in (Romans 6:16) “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?" The inspired words of the apostle teach us that we are held captive by sin and we are slaves of sin leading to death. He continued in (6:17,18) “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.” Having been slaves to sin, we are made free when we faithfully obey from the heart the gospel of Christ. We are delivered from captivity and become servants of righteousness. The Messiah has come to release us from sin that holds us captive.
Jesus has come to rescue those who are crushed in spirit. In Jesus, we have the hope of heaven. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21: 4).
Jesus has come to provide recovery of sight to the blind, to lead us out of our prisons of darkness. (ref. Isaiah 42: 7).
This is Good News! The Messiah has come!
It would seem that as we step on this stage in time, when the long-awaited Messiah has come, that all would rejoice. Who would not desire to receive this good news?
As the gospel writer Luke recorded, not all received the message of Christ with joy. Some who heard Jesus “were filled with wrath” and just wanted Him away from their presence (ref. Luke 4: 28, 29). It is difficult for me to imagine that after witnessing the ministry of John the Immerser in preparing the way of the Lord, after seeing the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus like a dove at His baptism, some would reject His message. But they did.
Today, we have this same choice: the choice to receive or reject the Messiah. It is a choice to receive His message of good news. A message that supplies what we are lacking and cannot do. A message that sets us free from our captivity to sin and a message that provides us with light to lead us from darkness.
Why did my Savior come to earth? As J. G. Dailey recorded, because He loved me so.