Here are five ways that Jesus served while here on earth.
Giving His Life
The first and foremost purpose for which Jesus came to earth and took upon Himself the flesh of man, was to give His life so that those who repent and believe might be saved. Why did Jesus come? He says “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Jesus spoke about those who He says when “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” (Matt 25:35-36) with His conclusion being “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matt 25:40). The difference between those who did things for Christ and those who did things for Christ to be seen by men is that the former group doesn’t’ recognize their own good works (Matt 25:38) but Jesus says to those who are His true followers the most wonderful thing anyone could ever hear, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt 25:34).
Healing the Sick
Everywhere Jesus went, He was constantly healing the sick, making the blind to see, and making the lame to walk. That was part of His purpose too as Isaiah the Prophet wrote that “the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy” (Isaiah 35:5-6) and that is just what Jesus did. Many came to Him to be healed but there is much more than just healing a sick person of their disease; there is the death penalty that is hanging over every one of us that unless we repent and trust in Him, we have worse than a fatal disease; we have a terminal illness of a wicked, deceitful heart (Jer 17:9) that needs cleansing. Everyone who’s healed will die again but everyone who believes in Jesus, not even death can separate them from God (Rom 8:38-39).
Forgiving our Sins
The Apostle Paul writes to the church at Colossae that Jesus Christ “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 1:13-14). That’s no small task because people love their sins, they don’t want to humble themselves and turn to Christ because it means they have to give up the indulgences of the flesh and most will refuse to do that. Their pride will cause them to fall someday but surely every person who has ever lived and is alive today will, “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:10-11). You can bend the knee today to Christ or He will bend it for you someday but one way or another “every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God” (Rom 14:11) and that includes you unbeliever! It would be better for you to do it today, voluntarily, than to be made to do it His appearance (Rev 20:12-15). Either you will humble yourself today or God will do it for you someday; guess which one is more painful?
Giving Hope to the Hopeless
Jesus said that “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10) and not that they would be without hope for as Paul writes, “whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Rom 15:4) and what was written before for our hope? Isaiah wrote of Christ, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope” (Rom 15:12) and so Paul prays “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Rom15:13). Jesus came to give hope to the hopeless, healing to the terminally ill, and to give the Gentiles hope that “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28).
Feeding the Poor
The poor were very much a focus of Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry and He expects us to care for them too (Matt 25:35) in feeding them, clothing them, visiting them, and making plain the only way to be saved (Acts 4:12). Jesus, in His sermon of the Beatitudes, said “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt 5:5-6) and especially “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:3). At least twice that we know if Jesus fed the poor by multiplying the little food that they had to feed thousands but ultimately the most fulfilling of all bread is where Jesus said “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35) and “whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). If someone eats or drinks, they can be temporarily satisfied but the Bread of Life satisfies for all time.
If you want to know what Jesus did while on earth, I strongly suggest you read the Gospel of John and Matthew chapter 25 because Jesus came to give us life and to die for our sins but also to feed the poor, heal the sick, give hope to the hopeless, and to forgive our sins. If we hope to be like Christ we should be doing what Christ did, for there is no greater love that we can display than to minister to those in need and as such, being the Body of Christ and doing the things that He commanded us to do (Matt 25).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.