Why did Jesus come?

The synoptic gospels contain ten purpose statements for Jesus’ earthly ministry, all but two given by Him:

I have come…

Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”
-Mark 1:38, parallel in Luke 4:43

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
-Mark 2:17

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
-Matthew 5:17

“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!”
-Luke 12:49

“Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.”
-Luke 12:51, parallel in Matthew 10:34

“For I have come to turn
‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’”
-Matthew 10:35

The Son of Man came…

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
-Mark 10:45, parallel in Matthew 20:28

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
-Luke 19:10

Have you come…?

Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
-Mark 1:23-24

When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”
-Matthew 8:28-29


Christ came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. He came to preach and call sinners to repentance.He would seek and save the lost by serving and giving His life as a ransom. His coming would also bring fire and division. Ultimately, He would destroy the forces of evil.

This post isn’t an original idea, but is based on a series of highly academic (i.e. dry) talks.