"When the fulness of the time was come, God _____________ forth His ________" (Galatians 4:4). Nearly 2000 years ago the Lord Jesus Christ came to earth on a very special mission. In this lesson we want to think about what His mission was.
The living God wants to COMMUNICATE HIMSELF to man. God wants to communicate with and make contact with man in the best possible way. In Old Testament times God communicated with man in different ways: (SEE HEBREWS 1:1)
He appeared briefly to certain men (Gen. 17:1). He spoke to men in visions (Gen. 15:1; Ezekiel 1).
He made Himself known through His mighty acts (Psalm106:8-9). He spoke to men through His prophets (Jeremiah 2:1).
He spoke to men in dreams (Gen. 37:5-8). Etc.
Finally God chose the best possible way to communicate Himself to man: "(GOD) hath in these last days spoken unto us by His _________" (Hebrews 1:2). God Himself made a personal visit to this earth. God came in the Person of His Son so that He could make Himself known in a very special way.
The Lord Jesus referred to this in the parable which He taught in Matthew 21:33-42. The "servants" (v.35) represent the Old Testament prophets whom God sent. Jesus was reminding the people that God first sent the many prophets and finally GOD SENT HIS OWN SON, who was shamefully rejected and EVEN CRUCIFIED. God perfectly communicated to men in the Person of His dear Son, but most men did not like the message which they heard from Him!
A witness is one who points clearly to God and who strengthens and confirms the fact that God is THE ONLY GOD and the ONLY SAVIOUR! The Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest and most perfect witness that the world has ever known or seen. In Revelation 3:14 the Lord Jesus describes Himself as "the Amen, the __________________ and ___________________________ . He perfectly pointed to the one and only true God.
In the last chapter of notes we learned that during the early part of his kingdom, Solomon was a very fine witness for God. In fact, people from far away lands would come to Jerusalem to see the wisdom and greatness of Solomon and the glory of his kingdom, and thus they also learned of the wisdom and greatness of Solomonís God, the KING of the universe. The Queen of Sheba was one such person who came.
Read carefully the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:42. Was there a GREATER WITNESS than Solomon on the earth? _______ who was this GREATER PERSON? __________________________
Solomon and the Lord Jesus both pointed to the one true God. Which one pointed to God most clearly, Solomon or the Lord Jesus? _________________________ The Queen of Sheba looked at Solomon, the lesser witness, and she believed and gave praise to God. The Jews looked at the Lord Jesus, the GREATER WITNESS, and they rejected what they saw and heard. She received the lesser light and they rejected the GREATER LIGHT.
God does not want men to be in the dark. The nation Israel was meant to be a lighthouse among the nations of the world. Israel was meant to be a nation that would point out to other nations the true way and the true God. During the early days of Solomon, Israel, as Godís lighthouse, sent forth light to the ends of the earth, and the wisdom and greatness of the one true God was seen by people everywhere. Sad to say, the light soon began to flicker and at times it practically went out. The nation fell into great sin and idolatry, and although there were godly individuals who shined for the Lord (such as Isaiah, Daniel, Ezra, etc.), the light that came from the nation as a whole was very dim even to the point of being darkness.
Finally the great and perfect Light came into the world: "In Him was life and the life was the _____________ ______ of men and the light _____________________ in darkness" (John 1:4-5). "That was the __________ ________________ which lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (John 1:9). The Lord Jesus Himself said, "I am the __________________ of the world" (John 8:12).
Does God want His believers to be His shining witnesses in this dark and sinful world (Philippians 2:15 and compare Matthew 5:16)? _______ If you are a believer, can you think of some reasons why your light sometimes becomes dim? How can we be better lights for the Lord?
Israel was to represent God in this world, but the nation of Israel failed to do this as they should. Believers today are also responsible to represent the true and living God, but often we fail to picture Him and represent Him as we should. When the Lord Jesus Christ came to earth He perfectly represented God!
Suppose someone were to come to class with a photograph of the President of the United States. Suppose that each student were then asked to look at this photo and try to draw a picture of the President as best they can. Each picture drawn by the students would be a representation of the President. Some would represent the President better than others. Some would represent the President very poorly (in fact, the President would probably laugh if he were to see some of the pictures!). Since none of the students are professional artists, none of the pictures would represent the President real clearly and real accurately. The only real accurate and real clear representation of the President would be the original photograph.
Believers are like these pictures. Each believer represents the LORD and is responsible to PICTURE the Lord by the way he (or she) lives and acts. Some believers represent the Lord more clearly than others. Some represent the Lord very poorly (as people look at their lives it is hard to find the Lord, if they can find Him at all!). None of the believers really represent the Lord as clearly and as accurately as they should. The only real accurate and real clear representation of God would be the Lord Jesus Christ Himself! He perfectly pictured the Father and pointed to the Father!
How accurately did the Lord Jesus represent and picture the Father (John 14:9)? ____________________
____________________________________________________ See John 12:44-45. To see Christ is to see WHOM? __________________________ Whenever people looked at Christ they saw a clear representation of God! God cannot be seen because He is INVISIBLE (John 1:18Ė"no man hath seen ________ at any time"). Jesus Christ came to make visible the invisible God. He is the "__________ of the ___________________________God" (Colossians 1:15). Just as the image in a good and true mirror represents the person who is standing in front of the mirror, even more so, the Lord Jesus clearly represents the invisible God.
Jesus Christ was sent on a very special mission. Let us learn a few things about His mission and how important it was:
1. It was a SAVING MISSION.
Why was Christ not sent into the world (John 3:17)? ____________________________________________
_________________________________ Why was He sent (John 3:17)? __________________________
_________________________________ Did James and John understand the reason Christ was sent into the world (Luke 9:51-56)? ______ The Lord Jesus did not come to judge men, but instead He came to rescue men. He came not to ____________________ the world but to ________________ the world (John 12:47). Has the Lord Jesus accomplished His saving mission in your life? ______ Have you let Him save you? _______ If you were perishing in the ocean and someone threw you a lifeline, would you be so foolish as to not accept it? Have you personally received the only LIFELINE that can save sinners or have you refused to grab on to Him?
2. Jesus was sent to do the Fatherís will.
Why did Jesus come down from heaven (John 6:38)? __________________________________________
What is the will of God (John 6:40)? _______________________________________________________
____________________________________ Has the will of God been accomplished in your life? _____ Have you believed on Him? ______ Do you have the gift of eternal life? ________
3. Jesus was sent with the Fatherís message.
What words did Jesus speak (John 3:34)? ______________________________________________
________________________________ Where did Jesus get His doctrine or teaching from (John 7:16)?
How did Jesus know what to say and what to speak (John 12:49-50)? _____________________________ ___________________________________________________ Everything He taught and said came from the Father. His message and His words perfectly represented exactly what the Father wanted Him to say.
The same should be true for us when we share with others about spiritual things. They do not need to hear all about our opinions or thoughts or ideas or beliefs. They need to hear exactly what God has said! Therefore, we need to know what God has said and we need to be able to clearly share what God has said. Are you able to clearly share with someone what God has said about the following?
forgiveness of sins
4. Jesus was sent especially to the nation Israel.
Jesus came on a special mission to His own people, the nation Israel (John 1:11). Jesus once said, "I am not __________ but unto the lost sheep of the house of _______________" (Matthew 15:24). This
was His primary mission to those who were then assigned the responsibility to represent Him, and who were accountable to Him.
Paul said that Jesus Christ was a minister of the C______________________________ (Romans 15:8), and by this he meant that the Jesus was a minister to the Jewish people.
5. Jesus had a mission to all.
The Lord Jesus had a heart of concern that reached far beyond the people of Israel. In John chapter 4 we learn how Jesus reached out to the Samaritans, a group of people that were hated by the Jews. Before His death and resurrection Jesus sent His disciples out only to the Jews (Matthew 10:5-7) for the purpose of announcing the kingdom which God had long before promised to the Jews. After the resurrection of Christ, did the Lord send forth the disciples only to the nation Israel or to ALL NATIONS (Matthew 28:19)? _______________________________ All men everywhere need to hear the message of salvation (compare Acts 17:30-31)!
You may not be a Jew, but has Godís message of salvation reached you? What have you done with it?
6. Jesus perfectly accomplished His mission.
Jesus said, "I have ________________________ the work which thou gavest Me to do" (John 17:4 and compare John 19:30). MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! The mission of our Saviour Jesus Christ was a perfect success! He failed in nothing. He accomplished everything. He perfectly completed His work. He perfectly carried out His Fatherís will.
The Lord Jesus Christ is Godís perfect witness. The Lord Jesus Christ IN YOU is God's perfect witness. Why is it so necessary to let the Lord Jesus live HIS LIFE IN AND THROUGH YOU? (Romans 6:13; Galatians 2:20; Acts 1:8; etc.)
In the next chapter we will learn that God has a very important mission for those of us who are members of His Church. Christ was faithful in His mission. He was the FAITHFUL AND TRUE WITNESS. The Lord wants us to be His faithful witnesses also!