How Can Jesus Change Your Life?
JESUS CHRIST was a Great Teacher who lived in Palestine almost 2,000 years ago. Very little is known about his childhood. It is well attested, however, that when he was about 30 years of age, he started his ministry to “bear witness to the truth.” (John 18:37; Luke 3:21-23) The four disciples who wrote accounts of his life focus on the three and a half years that followed.
During his ministry, Jesus Christ gave his disciples a command that could be an antidote to many of the world’s ills. What was that? Jesus said: “I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34) Yes, the solution to many of mankind’s problems is love. When, on another occasion, Jesus was asked which commandment is the greatest, he answered: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. The second, like it, is this, ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’”—Matthew 22:37-40.
Jesus showed us by words and deeds how to love God and fellow humans. Let us consider a few examples and see what we can learn from him.
In one of the best-known sermons in history, Jesus Christ told his followers: “No one can slave for two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. You cannot slave for God and for Riches.” (Matthew 6:24) Is Jesus’ teaching about putting God first in our lives still practical today, when so many people believe that money solves all problems? True, we need money to get by. (Ecclesiastes 7:12) Yet, if we let “Riches” be our master, “the love of money” will control us, dominating our whole life. (1 Timothy 6:9, 10) Many who have fallen into this trap have ended up losing their family, their health, and even their lives.
On the other hand, looking to God as our Master gives meaning to life. As the Creator, he is the Source of life, and thus, he alone is worthy of our worship. (Psalm 36:9; Revelation 4:11) Those who learn about his qualities and come to love him are moved to observe his commandments. (Ecclesiastes 12:13; 1 John 5:3) By doing so, we benefit ourselves.—Isaiah 48:17.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus also taught his disciples how to show love for fellow humans. He said: “All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must likewise do to them.” (Matthew 7:12) The word “men” that Jesus used here includes even one’s enemies. In the same sermon, he said: “Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those persecuting you.” (Matthew 5:43, 44) Would not such love solve many of the problems that we face today? Hindu leader Mohandas Gandhi thought so. He is quoted as saying: “When [we] shall get together on the teachings laid down by Christ in this Sermon on the Mount, we shall have solved the problems . . . of the whole world.” Jesus’ teachings about love, if applied, can solve many of mankind’s ills.
Not only did Jesus teach profound truths about how to show love but he also practiced what he taught. For example, he put the interests of others ahead of his own. One day Jesus and his disciples were so busy helping people that they had no time even to eat a meal. Jesus saw the need for his disciples to rest up a bit, and he took them to a lonely place. But when they got there, they found a crowd waiting for them. How would you have responded upon seeing a crowd who expected you to work when you felt that you needed a little break? Well, Jesus “was moved with pity for them” and “started to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34) This concern for others always moved Jesus to assist them.
Jesus did more for people than teach them. He also extended practical help. For example, on one occasion he fed more than 5,000 people who had been listening to him until late in the day. Soon after that, he fed another large crowd—this time more than 4,000—who had been listening to him for three days and had nothing left to eat. On the first occasion, he used five loaves of bread and two fishes, and on the latter, seven loaves and a few little fishes. (Matthew 14:14-22; 15:32-38) Miracles? Yes, he was a miracle worker.
Jesus also healed many ailing ones. He cured the blind, the lame, the lepers, and the deaf. Why, he even raised the dead! (Luke 7:22; John 11:30-45) Once a leper entreated him: “If you just want to, you can make me clean.” How did Jesus respond? “At that he was moved with pity, and he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him: ‘I want to. Be made clean.’” (Mark 1:40, 41) Through such miracles, Jesus demonstrated his love for the afflicted.
Do you find it hard to believe in Jesus’ miracles? Some do. Remember, though, that Jesus performed his miracles in public. Even his opposers, who tried to find fault with him on every occasion, could not deny that he was a miracle worker. (John 9:1-34) Further, his miracles had a purpose. They helped people to identify him as the One sent by God.—John 6:14.
In performing miracles Jesus was not seeking attention for himself. Rather, he glorified God, the Source of his power. In Capernaum he was once in a home filled with people. A paralyzed man wanted to be healed but could not get in. So his friends lowered him on a cot through the roof. Upon seeing their faith, Jesus healed the paralytic. As a result, the people “glorified God” and said: “We never saw the like of it.” (Mark 2:1-4, 11, 12) Jesus’ miracles brought praise to Jehovah, his God, and helped those in need.
Miraculous healing of the sick, however, was not the main thrust of Jesus’ ministry. One who wrote an account of Jesus’ life explained: “These have been written down that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and that, because of believing, you may have life by means of his name.” (John 20:31) Yes, Jesus came to earth so that believing humans might have life.
‘Jesus came to earth?’ you may ask. ‘Where did he come from?’ Jesus himself said: “I have come down from heaven to do, not my will, but the will of him that sent me.” (John 6:38) He had a prehuman existence as the only-begotten Son of God. What then was the will of the One who sent him to earth? “God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son,” says John, one of the Gospel writers, “in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) How was this possible?
The Bible reveals how death became the unavoidable lot for mankind. The first human couple received from God life with the prospect of living forever. However, they chose to rebel against their Maker. (Genesis 3:1-19) As a result of this action, the first human sin, the offspring of Adam and Eve inherited the unwelcome legacy of death. (Romans 5:12) In order to give mankind real life, sin and death must be done away with.
No scientist can get rid of death by some kind of genetic engineering. Yet, the Creator of mankind has the means to bring obedient humans to perfection so that they can live forever. In the Bible this provision is called the ransom. The first human couple sold themselves and their offspring into slavery to sin and death. They traded life as perfect humans obedient to God for life independent of God, making their own decisions as to what is right and what is wrong. To buy back perfect human life, a price had to be paid that was equivalent to the perfect human life that our first parents forfeited. Having inherited imperfection, humans were not qualified to provide that price.—Psalm 49:7.
So Jehovah God stepped in to help. He transferred the perfect life of his only-begotten Son to the womb of a virgin, who gave birth to Jesus. Decades ago, you might have rejected the idea of a virgin birth. Today, however, scientists have cloned mammals and introduced genes from one animal into another. Who, then, can rightly question the Creator’s ability to bypass the ordinary process of procreation?
With the existence of a perfect human life, the price to redeem mankind from sin and death became available. Yet, the baby born on earth as Jesus had to grow up to be the “physician” able to furnish the “medication” to cure mankind’s ills. He did this by living a perfect, sinless life. Jesus not only saw the anguish of mankind under sin but experienced the physical limitations of being a man. This made him an even more compassionate physician. (Hebrews 4:15) The miraculous healings that he performed during his life on earth proved that he has both the will and the power to cure the sick.—Matthew 4:23.
After a ministry of three and a half years here on earth, Jesus was killed by his opposers. He showed that a perfect man can be obedient to the Creator despite even the greatest trials. (1 Peter 2:22) His sacrificed perfect human life became the ransom price, able to redeem mankind from sin and death. Jesus Christ said: “No one has love greater than this, that someone should surrender his soul in behalf of his friends.” (John 15:13) On the third day after his death, Jesus was resurrected to spirit life, and some weeks later he ascended to heaven to present the ransom price to Jehovah God. (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Hebrews 9:11-14) By doing so, Jesus was able to apply the merit of his ransom sacrifice to those who follow him.
Would you be willing to benefit from this way of healing spiritual, emotional, and physical sicknesses? To do so requires faith in Jesus Christ. Why not come to the Physician yourself? You can do that by learning about Jesus Christ and his role in saving faithful mankind. Jehovah’s Witnesses will be happy to help you.
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Jesus has both the will and the power to cure the ailing
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How does Jesus’ death affect you?