If you live in America today you see “In God We Trust” on the back of every twenty dollar bill that has been printed since 1956. This is a guiding principle of the belief system in the United States of America. The underlying implication of this statement is this– we trust in God, and therefore, God exists.
If only explaining this today were that simple. Today, in 600 words or less, we will explore some evidence that gives us good reason to believe that God not only exists, but that the meaning of life is to be in relationship with Him through his son, Jesus Christ.
Once upon a time, a Danish Theologian by the name of Søreen Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was struggling to understand why it is not more obvious to us that God exists. To assist him in illustrating this, he wrote a parable known as The King who Loves a Humble Maiden. The parable tells us that King Solomon disguised himself to be an equal to the peasant women in order that she may come to authentically fall in love and take his hand in marriage, and he succeeds. Kierkegaard illustrates that had Solomon come to the maiden in his Kingly power it would have been overwhelming for her to relate to him and virtually impossible for her to love him authentically, yet because he lowered himself to her level her was able to win her love.
We can learn a great deal from this parable about Jesus’ earthly ministry that helps us make sense of his teachings about the meaning of life.
In Kierkegaard’s illustration, Solomon disguised himself from the maiden out of fear of losing the authenticity of relationship with her. We see this same humility from Jesus in the book of Matthew; in God’s desire to be in an authentic relationship with us He disguises himself by becoming a man that we might accept his fellowship.
Jesus’ modus operandi is to begin revealing himself to us. He begins by making a bold truth claim that distinguishes him as the Author of Life, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. Here, Jesus clearly establishes his office as the mediator between man and God and He offers us a way to be in relationship with God the Father.
If the meaning of life is to know and be in relationship with God, then eternal life must be possible, otherwise none of this would matter. Jesus declares that, “he who hears My word, and believes in Him [God] who sent me has eternal life…” Later, Jesus prays to His Father, asking to be glorified. He states “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. God teaches that His desire for us is to know him and that through Jesus we will have an eternal relationship with him.
Lastly, as Jesus was preaching in the temple courts he was confronted with a question by an expert in the torah law, he asked Jesus, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Jesus’ answer reveals the true meaning of life, “Hear O’ Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind and with all of your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbour as yourself.”
Like Solomon’s maiden, Jesus graciously desires to be in authentic relationship with us. He didn’t come in His glory and force it upon us. He came and showed us that if “In God We Trust” – that is, we love God with everything – we are given the gift of life through His son, Jesus Christ.