What do Jesus and Paul have in common? On one level, you can’t compare the Son of Man with a mortal man. But on another level, they have some similar characteristics. Both were Jewish men; both were well-acquainted with “the law.”
Another characteristic that they both shared was celibacy. Jesus never married. Neither, as the evidence indicates, did Paul. In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he states, “I wish everyone were single, just as I am” (1 Cor. 7:7–8, New Living Translation [NLT]). You can’t be more explicit than that. Why did Paul say this? Obviously, if everyone followed his counsel, none of us would be around to ask this question, as human procreation would cease. Paul goes on to explain that celibacy is a gift from God. We are all endowed with gifts from our Creator, and many will choose to marry (and have children).
As a person who is married but has not been blessed with children, I take away another message from looking at the lives of Jesus and Paul. Here are two examples: Jesus, the Son of the Most High God, Ruler of the universe; and Paul, ardent follower of Christ and the most spectacular missionary the world has ever known. Both of these men lived full lives. Paul, with all of his imperfections, accomplished a great deal for God, with such passion, conviction and enthusiasm. Jesus is in a category of His own, of course, but we see in Him someone who was tested and tried in all the same ways that we are, yet was without sin. He was complete, perfect and blameless in God’s sight. We can take tremendous comfort in that fact.