Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Christ’s Objective

What was the reason for Christ’s incarnation? Why did God become man? What do we learn from Scripture and the life of the Church? What did Christ say when he came and was born of a Virgin? It is apparent that Jesus Christ came for the salvation of man; his objective was to win people for the Kingdom of God. Fr. Dumitru Staniloae comments, on Christ’s plan for the salvation of man, explaining:

“St. Matthew writes in his Gospel about the beginning of Christ’s proclamation: ‘From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”’ (Matt 4:17). And then he says, ‘And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom (Matt. 4:23). Christ teaches us to pray to God, to call Him Father and ask, ‘Your Kingdom come’. In the Beatitudes He promises the poor in spirit and those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake that theirs is the kingdom of heaven. In the Sermon on the Mount he tells men, ‘Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you’ (Matt 6:33). This verse shows how we should prepare for the kingdom of heaven. In the Sermon on the Mount, in which He gives all the commands of love to mankind, the Saviour says, ‘Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and  teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven’ (Matt 5:19). The commandments that He asks us to keep are those of love, of mercy, and of forgiving to the extent of turning the other cheek when someone slaps you. Dominion in the kingdom of heaven is not for the proud but for the humble: ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven’ (Matt 18:3). In order to be a part of this kingdom, we must be ‘children of our Father in heaven’, together with His Son, who humbled Himself in love to the point of taking the form of a man. The children of our heavenly Father bless those who curse them and love their enemies (Matt 5:44-45)”[1].

[1] Staniloae, Dumitru, The Holy Trinity, (Brookline, Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2012), p. 45-46

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