"If you don't have something worth dying for then you don't have something worth living for."It makes you think doesn't it. Purpose is a much overused word these days. Rick Warren wrote an excellent book about it ... many people that have read it still seem to wander through life without it. I guess that is why many go through life medicated on drugs, vegged out on entertainment and seeking after meaning. Jesus lived life full of meaning and purpose. He had a remarkable sense of mission ... He knew why He was here ... He announced it to everyone:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)These words prophesied by Isaiah 500 years prior seemed to give wings to Jesus' ministry. I find it interesting that His purpose was all about people ... poor people ... people in prison ... blind and sick people ... people oppressed. The mention of God seems to be absent from this mission statement ... the Holy Spirit is mentioned as the power behind His purpose and not the focus of it. How easy it is to lose sight of people when we think of purpose ... how easy to cloak purpose in religious words ... words like 'glory', 'gospel' and 'kingdom'. Jesus lived a life of purpose because He lived a life of loving people. Can't you picture Jesus roaming the hills of Judea and walking the streets of Jerusalem ... stopping to touch the poor ... moving with compassion to heal the sick ... setting demonized people free ... teaching us with words and actions how to love God by loving each other. I find it interesting that Jesus gave us a definition of the greatest purpose:
"This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." (John 5:13)I have noticed that religious mission statements often include 'loving people as ourselves' but rarely say 'loving people as Jesus loves them'. This seems to be a misunderstanding of Jesus' mission and message to us. People are worth dying for ... Jesus proved it with His very own life. I think that there is nothing more glorious than sacrificial love ... laying down our lives ... our selfish desires ... our self-centeredness ... our schedules - for poor people ... people in prison ... blind and sick people ... people oppressed. Jesus said it best when He said:
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. "He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal. (John 12:24-25)What a description of true life ... only dead people can truly live ... that is something worth dying for.