A Savior Born
And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.
Matt. 1:21 NLT
Why did God come into the world? Why did the Son of God take on human flesh and walk among us?
Did Jesus Christ come to educate us? No, better professors is not what we needed. More knowledge and better technology will not change hearts and establish justice.
Did Jesus come to bring “peace on earth”? Yes, peace to those who receive him as Lord and Savior, but not to those who reject his claims upon their hearts. Jesus declared, “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword” (Mt 10:34 NLT). Loyalty to Jesus will bring strife and division as people receive or reject Jesus’ calling on their lives.
Did Jesus come to militarily overthrow oppressive governments that subjugate their peoples? At the second coming, Jesus will return in power and great glory to judge the nations. However in the first century, Jesus’ arrival exposes humankind’s greatest problem: selfish and corrupt hearts.
Why did God come into this world? Only the scriptural answer will suffice: the second person of the Trinity has been born because he loves the world. But why did he come this way, as a little baby? Why did he choose to lie in a manger and be cared for by a human mother, with the sweetness but the utter weakness of a newborn babe? He came this way because he came to meet the central need of men.
He did not come to overthrow the Romans, though a lot of the Jews would have loved that. If he had, he would have come riding on a great conquering steed.
The central reason he came was not to raise the living standards of the world. Surely if modern man were going to vote on the way he would like a messiah to appear, he would want him loaded down with moneybags from heaven.
He did not come primarily to teach and relieve ignorance—perhaps then he would have come laden with books.
An angel had revealed to Joseph the primary task for which he came: “Thou shalt call his name JESUS; for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). He is here to cut the nerve of man’s real dilemma, to solve the problem from which all other problems flow. Man is a sinner who needs an overwhelming love. Jesus has come to save his people from their sins.
Francis Schaeffer, “Seeing Jesus With the Shepherds,” Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus, ed., Nancy Guthrie (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2008), 105.