The Christian Purpose

Have you ever considered the purpose in your life. While we often study from Ecclesiastes when considering this topic, we also see a few statements by Jesus that define His purpose on this world. If we want to be Christians – that is, Christ-like individuals – our purpose and his purpose should be one and the same.

To Seek and Save

In Luke 19, we meet a tax collector named Zacchaeus who seeks Jesus out. Jesus goes to dine with this person, and the Scribes and Pharisees criticize Jesus for associating with corrupt sinners, but Jesus calls Zacchaeus a son of Abraham for his willingness to repent of wrongdoing. In verse 19, then, Jesus says:

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Mark 16 and Matthew 28 contain passages we refer to as the great commissions. In Mark 16:15 and Matthew 28:18-19, Jesus tells His disciples to teach and make disciples. As Jesus comes to seek and save the lost, and He tells His followers that their purpose should be the same. This mission is not for the apostles alone; it is for everyone who puts on the name of Christ.

In Romans 10:14, Paul rhetorically asks how anyone can come to Christ without belief; how anyone can believe without hearing of Him; how anyone can hear without those willing to teach. Are we looking for those who are looking for Him? He came to seek and save. We should be doing the same.

To Call Sinners to Repentance

In Mark 2:13, Jesus meets a publican named Matthew, and Jesus goes to eat with them. Again, we see religious leaders criticizing Jesus for these actions, but Jesus answers this way in verse 17:

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

It is difficult to call someone, or even ourselves, to change. It infers that you or I are doing something wrong. Jesus comes to emphasize repentance, though, and He associates with those most in need of change. He shows care and concern, and, rather than demanding them to heal themselves before coming to the Great Physician, He reaches out to those in need of His grace.

To Do His Father’s Will

In John 6:35, Jesus is teaching those He fed with the loaves and the fish of the true nature of spiritual food and His purpose among them. He encourages them to satiate their spiritual hunger and thirst more than their physical needs, and, in verse 38, He says:

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.”

As difficult as it is, Jesus is focused on the will of the Father, knowing the fate awaiting Him. We have a difficult time setting our own will aside for that of another, but that is exactly what Jesus does in His life of ministry. John 14:24 records Jesus saying that His teachings come from the Father, and He teaches, in Matthew 7:21, of the importance of bending our will to submit to God’s.

To Meet His Final Hour

John 12 records Jesus teaching His disciples of His impending fate, and He asks, in verse 27:

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.”

There are many things in this life we wish we could remove ourselves from, but Jesus does not turn aside from the painful hour set before us. I Corinthians 10:13 assures us our own trials will never go beyond our breaking point, but we must recognize the difficulties that lie ahead. In I Corinthians 3:10-15, Paul speaks of fires that will try the foundation upon which we build our lives. As Jesus was tried, we will also be tried as if by fire. Will we come out refined?


The sinless Son of God sees meaning in our lives, enough to sacrifice Himself in our stead, and He gives us a purpose in His sacrifice. We should have the same sense of purpose He demonstrated to endure trials, to do God’s will, to reach out to those in need of His grace, and to seek and save the lost. If we are Christ-like individuals, we should live with the same purpose we see in Christ’s life.

lesson by Tim Smelser