JESUS CHRIST–THE END HE PROPOSED
by Wayne S. Walker
Jesus Christ stands in a class all by Himself. It was impossible for a character with such moral glory to have been invented. Hence, He must have lived as a historical individual. Even His claims set Him apart from the common stock of humanity. All the evidence adds up together to convince us that Jesus is divine, the Son of God. One piece of that evidence is the magnitude of the end that He proposed and set about to accomplish. "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). Jesus came not to cure social ills, reform politics, nor end wars but to see and save the lost.
His attitude was different. The desire of most great men is to alter circumstances and better conditions for mankind–to improve the lot of oppressed and minority groups, cure suffering and disease, provide better surroundings for those unable to work, reform corruption in government, or put an end to fighting and strife. But Jesus was different. He taught that man’s greatest needs were spiritual, not physical. "Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life…" (John 6:27). His purpose was to bring salvation from sin, not just poverty or disease, to mankind by shedding His blood for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28). And His plan was to change hearts, not merely circumstances, and to better men, not only their conditions (note Matthew 5:3-9).
His conquest was of a different kind. Most religionists have sought only local reform and geared their efforts to fit their own people and culture. However, Jesus’s interests were neither local nor temporary. He meant for His work to include the entire human family. "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). And His teachings were aimed at people of all ages. "…And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).
His planning was wholly different from the plans of men. He did not use force to accomplish His purpose but condemned it (Matthew 26:51-54). He did not seek to raise money or use material goods to seek His goals, but in fact had nowhere to lay Hhis own head (Luke 9:57-58). He did not promote deception or misrepresentation of facts to gain His ends as diplomats often do, but emphasized the need for truth (John 8:32). He did not wrest control by political methods, but said that such politics must not characterize His followers (Matthew 20:25-28). He did not advocate the overthrow of existing governments but taught obedience and respect to lawfully constituted authority (Matthew 22:21). He never appealed to scholarship or intellect but commended a child-like trust in God (Matthew 18:3). He did not look to buildings, schools, books, papers, or other outward signs of influence but understood that the kingdom of God is something inward (Luke 17:20-21). He did not appeal to His followers by offering them a life of ease, prosperity, pleasure, honor, fame, fortune, power, health, or luxury, but promised them persecution (John 15:18-21). He never engaged in sensationalism to gain a crowd, even when tempted by the devil to do so (Matthew 4:5-7). And He did not boast, brag, nor play Himself up, but exemplified His teaching of humility and submission (Matthew 16:24).
His kingdom was different from the kingdoms of men in that it would never perish. Aspiring men have attempted to establish world empires only to die and have their kingdoms fall. Jesus did die, but His kingdom is still here. He promised that the gates of hades would not stand in the way of His building His church, which He also referred to as His kingdom because He Himself knew that He would be raised from the dead (Matthew 16:18-21). And His kingdom is the one prophesied through the Old Testament that would stand forever (Daniel 2:44).
What is even more amazing is that wherever the influence of His kingdom has gone on this earth and people have subscribed to His principles, the lot of mankind has improved, disease and suffering have been allayed, better surrounding have been provided, corruption has been reformed, and strife has reduced. So, consider the attitude, the conquest, the planning, and the kingdom of Jesus. He proposed such a grand end, such a sweeping plan, such a wonderful promise. If Jesus were merely a man, then this would have been lunacy and His schemes would lie on the same dust heap as those promoted by other men throughout history. But the centuries show that His work has stood the test of time. (—taken from With All Boldness; Nov., 2000; Vol. 10, No. 11; p. 10)