Multitudes journey through this thing we call life void of any clear goal, sense of mission, or idea of purpose. Life is just life. There is nothing in particular that they wish to accomplish. They are just here, aimlessly drifting through life.
Others possess an understanding of purpose, and a sense of mission. They have a goal(s) they wish to accomplish in this life. However, a large number in this group fail to achieve their goal(s). Some are hindered by procrastination. Others are hindered by velleity, on the most basic level they desire to accomplish the goal(s), but they lack the discipline and energy to make it happen. Some are easily distracted with the “cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection” (Luke 8:14).
Jesus was unlike the two groups we’ve just mentioned. (1) He understood His mission. Even from youth, he said, “I must be about My Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). He later said things like “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34)… “the works which the Father has given Me to finish – the very works… I do” (John 5:36)… “the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10)… “What shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour” (John 12:27). (2) He not only understood his mission, he had the dedication, determination and discipline, focus and fortitude to finish it… Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). A casual reading might prompt one to conclude that Jesus meant, “I am finished.” However, this is not what Jesus is saying. The wording connects nicely with other similar words of Jesus found in the book of John. Early in his ministry he said, “My food is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34) and “the works which the Father has given Me to finish – the very works… I do” (John 5:36). Nearing his death, he prayed, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4). Then, on the cross he said “It is finished!” (John 19:30). It was for this cause he had come (John 12:27). If we take these words together, it becomes evident that “It is finished” refers to his work.
The apostle Paul also fulfilled his role on earth. Approaching death he said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7), and he urged Timothy “fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5).
Are we fulfilling our roles? Do we have the dedication, determination, and discipline, focus and fortitude to finish what we should?
Our mission is to live a life which glorifies God (Matthew 5:16; 1 Corinthians 6:20; 10:31; Philippians 1:20). Our lives are to be dedicated unto him as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1-2). We are to love him with all of our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31). We are to fear him and keep his commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13 cf. John 14:15). These are things we should understand and accomplish upon this earth.
We should so live that when we come to the end of life we can say, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work You have given Me to do” (John 17:4).