What is the meaning of life? That is the question, right? It’s the question at the heart of all philosophical and existential thought. And the answer means everything.
Most of the ancient philosophers believed happiness was the meaning of life, and we acquire happiness through knowledge. The more a person knows, the happier they will be. So Indian teacher Buddha came up with his four noble truths and the eightfold path to happiness. Chinese philosopher Confucius taught that the happiest people are the well-educated.
Greek thinker Plato believed we must attain to the highest form of knowledge. Socrates believed in asking questions, which leads to knowledge, which leads to happiness.
Epicurus believed in finding happiness in simple things, like philosophical conversation. Zeno, the founder of stoicism, believed the meaning of life was freedom from suffering, which can be accomplished with the right kind of thinking.
In all their ponderings, none of these wise guys held a candle to the brilliance of King Solomon. You know what he said? “All things are full of weariness,” “There is nothing new under the sun,” and “he who increases knowledge increases sorrow” (Ecclesiastes 1:18).
Ouch. So happiness is not the meaning of life, and knowledge won’t get you there. So what is the meaning of life? Solomon siad this: “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
There is a King even greater and wiser than Solomon—the Lord Jesus Christ. His words lead to everlasting life and joy forevermore. Jesus is the answer, when we understand the text.