Jesus came with a purpose. He came to give His life. He died on the cross for our sins. He was resurrected for our salvation. He proclaimed His purpose with these words, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Jesus makes this declaration at Zacchaeus’ house. Zach is a tax collector. Jesus breaks a cultural norm and invites Himself to Zach’s home. At some point, Zach expresses belief in Jesus through a radical personal transformation. Jesus clearly conveys that what He had done for Zacchaeus He came to do for every person.
We discover in the New Testament that this was not only Christ’s mission but also the mission of every one of His followers. Jesus is recorded to have presented His follower’s mission in each of the Gospels and in Acts.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15).
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:45-49).
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you” (John 20:21).
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
When a person says yes to Jesus as Savior and Lord, they are also saying yes to participating with Him in His kingdom mission. Through the Great Commission, Christ-followers are awakened to life with a divine purpose of knowing God and making Him known.
Believers in Jesus have been called Christians since the first century. Interestingly, the name was not given to His followers by Christ Himself or even by themselves. The name was used by Greeks and Romans, probably in reproach, to the followers of Jesus. It plainly means a follower of Christ or little christs. Believers adopted it because, actually, it was a somewhat accurate description. A believer is not really a little Christ, but we are ambassadors of Christ (2 Cor 5:20).
We can save no one, but we can point the way to the savior. We can follow His example and, like He did for Zacchaeus, share His love and message in the hope that they will come to know Him as Savior and Lord. We are to live sent lives, being everyday missionaries in our daily lives. The movement Christ ignited will not end until He returns. Jesus came with a purpose, and as we enter into a saving relationship with God through Him, we receive a purpose as well. Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!