What is the meaning of life?
“The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” is a satirical Science fiction novel by the late Douglas Adams. The book takes great delight in poking fun at human nature. One of the major plot points of the story is the answer to the meaning of life, or as the Adams put it, “the answer to life, the universe, and everything.”
To answer this question a large computer named “Deep Thought” is constructed. The computer is as large as a city and so sophisticated that it becomes self-aware. It tells its programmers that it can answer the question but it will take seven and a half million years.
Generations later, the descendants of the original programmers eagerly await the answer. Right on time, Deep Thought reveals the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything, to be “42.”
The problem, the computer then goes on to tell them, is that they never really defined the question.
As much as we would like to believe otherwise, the answer to the meaning of life is not a simple pat answer. It is not an object to be possessed or a doctrine to be understood or a philosophy to be followed.
It is much more complicated than that.
When it comes time for Jesus to take up His mission, he begins to call disciples to Him. He finds them through John the Baptist, who has been preparing the way of the Lord for some time now.
As Jesus walks along the banks of the Jordan River, John points him out to two of his disciples. Jesus is the one, the lamb of God, the Messiah.
John the Baptist sends his disciples to the one who is greater than he. John does not even consider himself worthy to be the slave of Jesus. So he sends Andrew and another disciple to Jesus and Jesus accepts them with the invitation, “Come and you will see.”
The disciples have been sent to follow Jesus without knowing anything more about Him. But before long Jesus confronts them and asks, “what are you looking for? What do you seek?” In other words, Jesus asks them, “where are you looking for meaning in your life?” They don’t really know how to respond. They want to know more about Him, where is He at home, how can they get to know Him better?
And Jesus responds with an invitation for them to accompany Him, to learn more about Him.
Jesus always invites us to learn more about Him. Blind faith does not serve Him. Blind faith cannot defend itself or convince others to follow. Andrew, the first disciple, sat with Jesus and learned from Him before he left to bring his brother Simon, with the words, “We have found the Messiah.”
The answer to life, the universe, and everything, is not the answer to an equation. The answer to the meaning of life is a relationship to be lived out. It is a personal relationship with Jesus, the Messiah.