1. He came to fulfill the Law. (Matthew 5:17-18).
2. He came to seek and save the lost. (Luke 19:10; 1 Timothy 1:15).
3. He came to serve. (Mark 10:45).
4. He came to give His life in payment for our sins. (Matthew 20:28; 1 John 3:5).
5. He came that we might have abundant life. (John 10:10).
6. He came to reveal the Father. (Matthew 11:27 ; John 14:9).
7. He came to separate believers from non-believers. (Matthew 10:34-36).
8. He came to proclaim truth. (John 18:37).
9. He came to give us a pattern of holy living. (1 Peter 2:21).
10. He came to ignite a spiritual fire. (Luke 12:49).(1)
11. He came to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14-15).(2)
12. He did not come to judge, but He came to bring judgment. (John 3:17; 9:39; 12:47).
#12 might appear to be a contradiction, but it's not. Today's Bite Size Bible Study explains.
(1) Opinions of Bible Scholars vary on the exact meaning of fire in this passage, but all agree it is a strong statement from the One Who truly set the world ablaze with His words and work here on earth. I would draw from all of the proposed meanings to say that Christ brought the world a fire of truth, the Spirit, reward and punishment, burning away the lies, igniting the truth in men's hearts.
(2) Scripture explains that while this has been done in the spiritual realm, we still will endure the works of the devil (sickness, suffering, evil) while on earth. The full realization of the devil's defeat will be at Christ's Second Coming. See Hebrews 2:5-8.
The three passages below seem to be contradictions, but only at first glance. Read through them carefully and ask God to give you wisdom about their meaning.
John 3:17: For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
John 9:39: Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind."
John 12:47: If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.
What John 3:17 and 12:47 do NOT teach:
1. They don't teach that Jesus didn't judge sin and sinners.
In fact, we find such judgments recorded in Scripture. For example, read Matthew 23. This entire chapter tells of Jesus judging and rebuking the Pharisees.
2. They don't teach that Jesus has no expectations of His followers.
Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. John 14:23
3. They don't teach that Jesus is soft on sin.
The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. 1 John 3:8
It's important to understand that Christ's mission in coming to earth, first and foremost, was to save mankind, not to judge us. We were already judged at the fall. We fell short of God's standards for eternal life. Jesus didn't come simply to remind us of that fact. He came to save us from it.
Judge is used interchangeably with condemn in Scripture, but the most accurate way to understand the meaning of these seemingly contradictory passages is this way: Jesus came into the world to save us from the punishment we deserve. He will condemn all those who reject Him (i.e. pass a final judgment on each man) at His Second Coming, but this was not the purpose of His first coming. He did, however, address sin and rebuke sinners at His First Coming because that is part of His nature as a holy God.
copyright 2016, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com