In order to understand who Jesus is, we must understand what He came to do. For this, we can best look to the Servant Songs of Isaiah, for it is with these that He inaugurated His ministry and it is these that were used by the Gospel writers to describe Him in His death.
From the Servant Songs, we can see at least seven reasons for Jesus’ coming:
- He came to raise up and comfort the poor and needy.
- He came to establish justice in the world.
- He came to restore the glory of God’s people (represented by Jerusalem), and make them a light to the world.
- He came to bring the Kingdom to the Gentiles (the “coastlands”).
- He came to atone for the sins of the people.
- He will come to judge the world.
- He will come to inaugurate the New Creation.
To see Jesus’ mission as encompassing all this, and to see His passion for His people in light of these aims, is to be transformed. This is what it is to recognize Him as Savior and Lord.
There is no need to oppose His personal saving of people for life together with Him in the New Creation to His collective saving of the peoples here and now. Both now and for eternity, He is at work calling people to Himself in order that they might be a new people that recognize Him as completely worthy, for who He is and for what He has done.