Summary: A look at just eight of the reasons stated in the New Testament of why Jesus left the glory of heaven and came to this earth.
“Why Did My Savior Come to Earth?”
Text: Matthew 1:18-23
Perhaps many of you remember singing "Why Did My Savior Come to Earth?" out of the old Christian Hymns Number Two book in preparation for the Lord’s Supper. It was sung almost every Sunday for this purpose in some places. Interestingly, it was not listed as a song for the Lord’s Supper in the back of this hymnal. The other preferred hymn was Break Thou the Bread of Life which was not written about communion but mistakenly used anyway. I wanted to research the writing of "Why Did My Savior Come to Earth?" but could not find any biographical data on J.G. Dailey except for some other songs he wrote. He composed the music for #149 in our books – "Fear Not, Little Flock." But he wrote the words and composed the music for "Why Did My Savior Come to Earth?" in 1892. It has always been a favorite of mine because I continue to ask myself that same question. When I see the Islamic movement’s animosity toward Christianity, I wonder if He died in vain. When I see the moral depravity in our own nation, I wonder why God continues to be long-suffering. When I see the divisions in the Lord's body and the general apathy of many Christians, I wonder why He gave His body for this one. But, deep down, I know I don’t have to look around – just look in the mirror and see myself: He loved me so! This morning, for the next few minutes, I want us to open our Bibles together and simply read some of the reasons why Jesus left the glory of heaven. Hopefully, these will help us to be more like Him and reach the glory of heaven. So I urge you to be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 and search the scriptures daily to make sure these things are so.
“Why Did My Savior Come to Earth?” The first reason is found in our text this morning – in verse 21: To save His people from their sins. Matthew began this gospel with the genealogy of Jesus to show that He was of the royal lineage of David and of the seed of Abraham – He was the promised Messiah. The Jews were anxiously awaiting the Messiah foretold by the prophets. They saw Him as the One who would deliver them from foreign dominion and restore the throne of David. They had misunderstood His kingdom. Jesus came not to save His people from the Roman government but from their sins. That’s why Luke 2:11 was such a beautiful announcement to the shepherds: For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. You’ll remember Peter and John healing the lame man at the gate of the temple in Acts 3. After they were arrested and spent the night in custody, an inspired Peter addressed the Sanhedrin about the miracle the previous day – that it was by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom they had crucified, whom God raised from the dead. Then he concluded his defense with these words in Acts 4:12 – “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” A second reason Jesus came to this earth was to fulfill the law and the prophets. Jesus indicated this early on in His ministry in the Sermon on the Mount. Look at Matthew 5:17-18 – “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” Even His closest disciples, while recognizing Him as the Messiah, did not understand His kingdom. Turn to Luke 18:31-34 and let’s read about an exchange Jesus had with the twelve just a couple of days before He made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem: Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.” But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken. Yet, just before His ascension back to heaven, there was a much different exchange between Jesus and His disciples – Luke 24:44-45 – Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Now Jesus states that everything written about Him in the Hebrew canon has been fulfilled. The Law and the Prophets comprised the first two-thirds while the Writings held the final third – with the Psalms being the largest portion of the Writings. This is why we can honestly say that everything written about the Messiah in the Old Testament was fulfilled. And so the inspired apostle Paul could write in Romans 10:4 – For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Our Lord’s words in Matthew 5:18 have become a reality. A third reason Jesus came to earth was to call sinners to repentance – Matthew 9:12-13 – words addressed to the self-righteous Pharisees: When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” You may recall that Jesus began His earthly ministry with this same call in Matthew 4:17 – From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” But it was not just the Jews who would need to repent. Paul would write in Romans 3:23 – …for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Our Savior’s call continues to be made through the gospel. This is confirmed by 2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. Praise the Lord for being patient with us! A fourth reason Jesus came to this earth was to preach. This was one of the prophecies made about Him by Isaiah. Notice Luke 4:16-21 – So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: