Why should you listen to Jesus? After all, he was just a carpenter’s son from a tiny village in first century Palestine. What did he have to say that applies to your life? Believe it or not, Jesus has quite a lot to say to you, and his words make sense out of the world you live in. Maybe you disagree – that’s okay. Maybe reading this article will change your mind.
All humans, no matter what culture or era they belong to, have some universally shared desires – the desires for love, purpose, justice, beauty, and more. Perhaps you as a college student desire these things: love from family, friends, and a girlfriend/boyfriend; purpose from a future career; justice for victims and perpetrators around the world; beauty from art, nature, and relationships. Christianity (with Jesus at the center) is the only worldview that makes sense out of these desires.
Some worldviews (most notably, atheism or secular humanism) claim that the natural world is all there is, existence is a giant accident, and that therefore there is no transcendent purpose in life. Yet this goes against what we as humans innately long for – purpose. If there is no spiritual realm, if all we are is atoms and carbon and neurons, then there truly is no purpose in life; you’re born, you survive if you’re fit enough, perhaps you’ll reproduce, and then you die with nothing gained. These worldviews also don’t explain true unconditional, self-sacrificial love; in a “survival of the fittest” universe, why would we find it honorable to sacrifice yourself for the sake of someone else? Why do we long for love that cannot be experienced through the five senses? Though these worldviews do not explain a human’s desire for purpose or love, many who hold to such a worldview spend time fulfilling a purpose or seeking and giving love. Maybe you are one of those people. Does your worldview make sense?
Other worldviews put all their focus and attention on the spiritual realm, completely disregarding the physical world. Many eastern religions (and some ancient western philosophy that still has influence today) fall into this category. They say that this life is merely a testing ground, or an opportunity to transcend pain and suffering. Some say that this life is an illusion. There is no call to make this world better, and instead one should endure it and/or completely disregard it. Yet these worldviews don’t account for our desire to seek beauty and embrace it when we find it. If this life is pure evil and meant to be ignored, why do we find such good things in it, like love, relationships, and art? These worldviews also don’t account for our longing for justice. Why worry that a wrongdoer is punished and a victim is vindicated if this life is of such little value? Once again, though these worldviews do not explain a human’s desire for beauty and justice, many who hold to these worldviews find beauty and promote justice. Maybe you are one of those people. Does your worldview make sense?
Jesus makes sense out of these desires, because in Jesus the spiritual and the physical realms meet. The Bible claims that Jesus is God (spiritual) in the flesh (physical). Jesus spent his ministry not only preaching, fulfilling the spiritual needs of people, but also healing, fulfilling the physical needs of people. So what does he have to say about these desires?
Purpose: “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” – John 6:35. Your purpose is to have a relationship with God through Jesus, and because of that you can work for good things in the world. He gives purpose to your future career – whether it’s in health care, law, education, science, engineering, the arts, or sports – when you use it for him.
Love: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” – John 15:12. We find our source of love in Jesus, who was willing to die for us while we were his enemies. That’s the kind of love that we long for and hope to give to others.
Beauty: “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” – Matthew 7:11. All good gifts, including beauty, is from God. The beauty found in nature, art, and people is given for our enjoyment and points us to the Giver.
Justice: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” – Luke 4:18-19. Jesus spent much of his time with the oppressed and neglected, working for their physical and spiritual well-being. Your longing for justice comes straight from God’s heart.
Jesus is the only one that makes sense of your deepest longings for purpose, love, beauty and justice. Click on the banners below to find out how you can have a relationship with him.
Check out this video for more insight on the truthfulness of Christianity: