WHY did Jesus come? Who is Jesus? And What does He offer?
The Apostle Paul, when he wrote to the Christians at Colossae, in the very first chapter, laid out the theological perspective that answers these questions.
In first century Colossae, there were two groups of people who have departed from the truth of the gospel. One group was the Gnostics; they believed matter is evil, that flesh is evil, but spirit is good. So, their emphasis was on the supernatural rather than natural; that is, they tried to make everything more heavenly than earthly, more spiritual and less physical.
The second group were the Judaizers, who wanted to impose Jewish law on others, including Christians. Their focus was on the law and not on grace. To them, Jesus was not enough and people still had to earn their way into heaven despite Jesus' work on the cross.
So, you have a situation where people denied the deity of Jesus Christ because they deduced that because: He came in the flesh, He must be evil; therefore, He could not be from God.
Many in Colossae discounted the story of the first Christmas, because they couldn't understand God coming in the flesh. But, we do.
The Judaizers emphasized religiosity and rituals, and their skewed beliefs eventually morally bankrupted the integrity of a church.
Today, just like the people in Colossae, there are many people who are floundering. They are searching for significance. They are floundering for faith, for some type of ultimate meaning in life. They turn to psychics. They turn to astrology. They turn to anything (other than God) to find some type of direction.
However, Jesus Christ alone offers us that significance. Your life is not a meaningless journey to nowhere. Just as every thread in a tapestry has a function, so God has a plan for your life. His plan begins with you turning your life over to Jesus Christ.
So, only Jesus offers us salvation based on His work and not ours. There have been several religious leaders who have died a martyr's deaths, but only Jesus Christ died a substitutionary death for us on the cross.
The Apostle Paul said it well, when he called on us to give thanks to the Father for Jesus’ coming “qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Col 1:12-14)
It doesn't do us any good for Jesus to have been born in Bethlehem unless He is also born our hearts.
Rev. Robert Chew