Characteristics of Christ | FOCUSED ON HIS PURPOSE
A 40 Day Journey to Becoming Like the One We Follow
Day 39: Focused on His Purpose (John 12:23 & 32)
I just finished listening to the audiobook Start with Why, by Simon Sinek. You can watch his TED Talks and other videos of his online to get the gist of his book. It's excellent stuff. He writes mostly for businesses and entrepreneurs, but most of what he writes is applicable to all aspects of life, including our faith and ministries.
The distinguishing factor between two businesses might not be what they do or even how they do it. The real difference is in why they do what they do. When we get our WHY figured out, the how and the what naturally flow from it. Sinek says, "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." Having a clear WHY breeds loyalty, creates dynamic cultures, and builds trust.
People need to know your core, underlying beliefs and values that drive you to do what you do in the first place.
Jesus knew why he came. It all comes down to LOVE. Say it with me: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, so that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
Dozens of other would-be Messiah figures came and went. Even during Jesus' lifetime there were others who made claims and gathered followings. But each of them was focused on the wrong thing; they had the wrong WHY. Ultimately they would fail to unite the people of Israel and overthrow their Roman oppressors.
God, in Isaiah, warned about having the wrong WHY:
He says: “It is not enough for You to be My Servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and to restore the protected ones of Israel.
I will also make You a light for the nations,
to bring My salvation to the ends of the earth.”
Did you catch that? Restoring Israel was too small of a task. It was the wrong WHY. Jesus was crystal clear and laser focused on his task. He knew his purpose - to bring the kingdom of heaven fully on earth and to open it up to everyone - Jews and Gentiles, slave and free, male and female - and to make all people into one new humanity.
And he knew the only way to accomplish this task was through the cross. When he was lifted up, he would be the light to the nations and draw all people to himself, bringing salvation to the ends of the earth.