“For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:15)
Schools, businesses, and institutions are all well-advised to develop and live by a “statement of purpose” if they are to be successful, evaluating each activity by its effectiveness in fulfilling that purpose.
As Christians, we should also have a well-defined purpose. Each individual’s specific purpose will vary somewhat, depending on that person’s giftedness, background, and circumstances; but since Christ is our example, each Christian’s statement of purpose should reflect His priorities and values.
In many ways, Mark’s gospel provides the most vivid and explicit insight into the work of Jesus, and in this book we see Jesus often repeating His statement of purpose. “Jesus came . . . preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying . . . repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15). Jesus Christ had come with the specific purpose of saving the lost, and everything He did pointed to that end. “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (2:17).
Christ not only preached to sinners, but He trained and sent out His followers to see that His mission was effectively carried out, even after He was gone. “And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth. . . . And they went out, and preached that men should repent” (6:7, 12). Regarding His approaching death, He explained: “The Son of man came . . . to give his life a ransom for many” (10:45). As He left them, He commanded, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (16:15).
Our priorities should be the same as His. If everything we do points toward this end, His mission will thereby be accomplished. “Whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” (8:35). JDM