DID Jesus really have a meaningful life? He evidently was brought up in humble surroundings, and throughout his life he had few of this world’s goods. He actually had “nowhere to lay down his head.” (Luke 9:57, 58) In addition, he was hated, slandered, and finally put to death by his enemies.
You may reason, ‘Such a life is not what I think of as meaningful!’ But there is more to Jesus’ life that we do well to consider. Let us examine four aspects of his life.
1. JESUS HAD A PURPOSE IN LIFE—TO DO GOD’S WILL.
“My food is for me to do the will of him that sent me.”—John 4:34.
By his words and actions, Jesus sought to fulfill the will of his heavenly Father, Jehovah.a Jesus found great joy in doing God’s will. He actually compared doing so to food, as is shown in the scripture just quoted. Consider the circumstances under which he made that comparison.
Jesus spoke those words at about noontime. (John 4:6) He had trekked through the hilly country of Samaria all morning, so he surely was hungry. In fact, his disciples had urged him: “Rabbi, eat.” (John 4:31) By his answer, Jesus indicated that he really felt nourished and strengthened by doing God’s work. Does that not sound like the kind of man whose life had meaning?
2. JESUS HAD INTENSE LOVE FOR HIS FATHER.
“I love the Father.”—John 14:31.
Jesus had an extremely close relationship with his Father in heaven. Jesus’ deep love for God impelled him to make known his Father—His name, purposes, and qualities. Through his words, actions, and attitudes, Jesus perfectly reflected his Father—to the point that we see in Jesus a living portrait of his Father. Thus, when Philip asked Jesus: “Show us the Father,” Jesus replied: “He that has seen me has seen the Father also.”—John 14:8, 9.
3. JESUS LOVED PEOPLE.
“No one has love greater than this, that someone should surrender his soul in behalf of his friends.”—John 15:13.
Our future life prospects as imperfect humans are admittedly grim. The Bible explains: “Through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned.” (Romans 5:12) We cannot on our own escape the consequence of sin, namely death.—Romans 6:23.
Thankfully, Jehovah lovingly provided a solution to mankind’s situation. He allowed his perfect and sinless Son, who became known as Jesus, to suffer and die in order to provide the ransom needed to deliver mankind from slavery to sin and death. Jesus, moved by love for his Father and for humans, willingly complied and gave his perfect human life in our behalf. (Romans 5:6-8) Such unselfish love gave meaning to his life.b
4. JESUS KNEW THAT HE HAD HIS FATHER’S LOVE AND APPROVAL.
“This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.”—Matthew 3:17.
Jehovah spoke those words from heaven at the time of Jesus’ baptism. Jehovah thus openly expressed affection for and approval of his Son, Jesus. No wonder Jesus could emphatically say: “The Father loves me”! (John 10:17) Knowing that he had his Father’s love and approval, Jesus faced opposition and criticism with confidence. He even maintained balance and emotional stability in the face of death. (John 10:18) Jesus’ sense of his own Father’s love and approval undoubtedly gave even greater meaning to his life.
Jesus certainly had a meaningful life. Clearly, we can learn much from him about how we can lead a life that has real meaning. The next article will consider some of the clear advice that Jesus gave his followers about how to live.
a Jehovah is the name of God as revealed in the Bible.
b To learn more about the ransoming value of Jesus’ death, see chapter 5 of the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.