WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT JESUS?
Jesus is the hallmark of Christian faith; he was born into a Jewish family in Palestine, in a place called Israel. He journeyed through the regions of Galilee, Samaria, and Judea, teaching in the synagogues, and speaking to the multitudes of people who followed him wherever he went. He preached the kingdom of God, repentance, and love for all people. The Bible explains to us how He healed the sick and performed many other miracles.
It is impossible to study the Bible stories about Jesus without reading about His teachings’ intensity and passion. He spoke on spiritual matters with great authority and often left his critics tongue-in-cheek and foolish.
He talked of loving God above all else, caring for others as much as we do for ourselves, God’s coming kingdom and everlasting life.
Christians believe that Jesus is the Savior, the Son of God, who came to earth to redeem us from sin, to establish His spiritual kingdom of God on earth, and to offer the promise of eternal life. Although now He is not in bodily form on Earth, He is present with us through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is our Savior and our guide, the source of our power, the one who will lead us into the everlasting life beyond through this earthly existence. In prayer, we can talk to Him; through the Bible and our conscience, Christ speaks to us. With His love, He strengthens us.
About 6 B.C., an angel appeared sometime to a young Jewish woman named Mary, who was engaged to a man called Joseph. The angel said she’d miraculously conceive a son.
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” (Luke 1:30-33)
Nobody knows what day Jesus was born, or what year. Yet in 532 A.D., Denys le Petit estimated when Jesus was born in the Roman year 753, and Christian countries adopted that year as year 1 A.D.
Joseph and Mary traveled at about 80 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem, a town about 5 miles (8 km) south of Jerusalem. Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1).
The family moved back to Nazareth, and there Jesus grew up (Luke 2:39-40; Matthew 2:23). His father, Joseph, was a carpenter, and Jesus practiced the trade (Mark 6:3), too. None of the life of Jesus between birth and age 30 is known except for the incident mentioned in Luke 2:41-51 at the Temple.
HIS EARTHLY MINISTRATION
Jesus started His earthly ministry when He was about 30 years of age. Before Jesus began His earthly ministration, He called twelve disciples or apostles to learn from Him and carry out His mission after He had gone. They traveled all across Galilee, preaching a message of submission to God, repentance (withdrawal from sin), and compassion and reverence for all men. How long His earthly ministry lasted is not clear from the Bible, but estimates are usually about three years.
Jesus was raised a Jew, and His entire life was true to Judaism. Jesus was identified as a Rabbi and taught in the Galilean synagogues. It was only after the death of Jesus that His disciples became known as “Christians,” and the propagation of Christianity beyond Judaism.
Jesus performed numerous sign and wonders, and his miracles persuaded many people that He was the Son of God and the long-awaited Messiah. Jesus himself openly opposed adopting the title of Messiah or Son of God, probably because His reign was to be a celestial reign rather than the earthly kingdom that people were anticipating. He chose to use the mysterious word “Son of Man” to refer to Himself. Nevertheless, the Bible makes us understand that Jesus was indeed the long-awaited Messiah or Christ, and the divine Son of God).
As a prophet, Jesus was very famous and always surrounded by a multitude of people who came to hear Him and see Him perform signs and wonders.
HIS ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM
Eventually, in the year 30 A.D., Jesus traveled to Jerusalem, the Jewish Temple’s holy city and location, believing that He will die there.
Every Palm Sunday, one week before Easter, Christians celebrate the victorious arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem.
It was a Sunday before Passover when Jesus reached Jerusalem. The town was packed with pilgrims who had come to the Holy City to celebrate the Passover, and the people hailed Jesus as a King.
In the Temple’s outer court, money-changers converted foreign currency into coins to pay the temple tax, and vendors sold sacrificial animals. Jesus was furious with the holy Temple’s commercialism and deception, so He threw them out, saying, “Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Mark 11:17)
Each day, Jesus came to the Temple to teach and cured others. He celebrated with his disciples the traditional Passover meal and introduced the Christian sacrament known as Communion, the Supper of the Lord, or the Eucharist.
Jesus condemned the Jewish religious leaders at Jerusalem as being hypocrites. This offended the religious leaders, and Jesus usurped their authority when He threw the money-changers and traders out of the Temple. Jesus became very popular with the people at Jerusalem, and the Temple’s chief priests saw their authority slipping away.
The Temple’s chief priests and scribes tried to kill Jesus, but they were afraid that killing him would trigger a rebellion.
BETRAYAL, ARREST, AND TRIALS
One of the disciples of Jesus, Judas Iscariot, has given a solution to the chief priests and scribes’. He agreed to betray Jesus for a sum of money, under Satan’s power. Judas believed Jesus and His followers had spent their nights in a secluded location outside Jerusalem, the Gethsemane Garden. Judas led the temple officials there on Thursday night, so they could arrest Jesus without drawing the attention of Jerusalem’s crowds.
The Jewish governing body, the Sanhedrin, sent Jesus to the high priest’s home for a hastily-arranged trial. The Sanhedrin accused him of blasphemy and condemned him to death.
Under Roman law, the Sanhedrin had no right to execute anyone. Therefore, on Friday morning, the temple officials took him to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, and accused him of treason against the Roman Empire and pretending to be King of the Jews. At first, Pilate hadn’t wanted to get involved; however, the temple authorities whipped up a mob that ordered the execution of Jesus. Pilate feared a riot, so he consented to the death and condemned Jesus.
Christians now commemorate the death of Christ on Good Friday, two days before Easter.
CRUCIFIXION, DEATH, AND BURIAL
Roman soldiers carried Jesus to a position outside Jerusalem called “Golgotha” or “the Skull” and crucified Him. Crucifixion was an extremely brutal method of execution in which the victim was bound or nailed to a wooden upright cross and left to die. Jesus was crucified at approximately 9:00 AM (09:00) on Friday morning, and He died at approximately 3:00 PM (15:00) that afternoon, five days after He had reached Jerusalem; When He was crucified, Jesus was around 33 years old.
The Jews, as a people, were often blamed for the death of Jesus based on bigotry and an incorrect interpretation of Matthew 27:25. The Bible accounts, however, make it clear that it was only a small group of religious figures who were acting out of greed and terror to plot the death of Jesus. Jesus did not defend Himself during any of His trials, and He never defied His captors. He said God’s scheme was unintentionally carried out by those responsible for His death.
Every Friday night, the Sabbath began at dusk, and no job could be undertaken on the Sabbath. So, the body of Jesus was taken down from the cross and hurriedly placed in a grave. Some women who were His disciples decided to return and prepare the body properly for burial after the Sabbath.
RESURRECTION AND ASCENSION
The women returned to the sepulcher on Sunday morning and found it bare. An angel told them that Jesus rose from the dead. Following that, His followers and a number of others saw Jesus alive again.
Jesus’ work on earth was ended following His death and resurrection and later ascended to heaven 40 days later.
CHRIST SECOND COMING
Someday Jesus will come again. In the Old Testament, God is leading His chosen people toward truth and justice. The final step of the salvation process started with Jesus’ first coming, which would culminate in the events following His Second Coming. All men, living or dead, must be eventually judged. The faithful shall receive glorifiedl bodies and everlasting life; the wicked shall be thrown into the lake of fire. A total defeat and destruction of all evil must occur — Satan, sin, misery, and death. God’s reign will, at last, come to its completion.
BELIEVERS IN CHRIST JESUS
This may seem odd to us today, but the idea of the atonement sacrifice (reconciliation between God and humans) was very common to the Jews during the time of Jesus. Lambs and other animals in the Temple were regularly slaughtered to atone for sin. God acknowledged the sacrificial animal’s death as a replacement for the punishment owed by the sinners.
In this way, we should understand that Christ, as the Son of God, was the greatest sacrifice to render atonement for all humanity’s sin. We are freed from the deadly embrace of sin by His death. While we do not completely comprehend the form or purpose of the death and redemption of Jesus, they give us an opportunity for salvation and everlasting life, and this is the core conviction and hope of Christianity!
DOES JESUS HAVE ANY BROTHERS OR SISTERS?
The Bible states that Jesus had four brothers-John, Joseph, Judas, and Simon-and an unspecified number of unidentified sisters. The Roman Catholic Church and other churches believe that Mary remained a virgin. These brothers and sisters were children of Joseph from a previous marriage or relatives or other extended family members.
WAS JESUS MARRIED?
Some other historical source indicates that Jesus was never married at all. In The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown’s 2003 murder mystery novel, the theory that Jesus married Mary Magdalene was suggested. The novel is loosely based on several Bible teachings, but it’s not based on accurate factual facts but a fictional story.