The story of Jesus begins even before he was born. We may think how can this be, but it’s true and John the fisherman, a disciple of Jesus, puts it this way:
‘In the very beginning, before anything else existed, the Word (Jesus) existed. The Word was with God and the Word was God.’
Mankind had forgotten the existence of God completely and had sinned beyond pardoning. Therefore, God sent His son Jesus Christ into the world to remind us that there is God, to set aside those from doing errant and give eternal life to whosoever believed in Him.
The Bible says, ``If you keep on sinning, it shows that you belong to Satan … But the Son of God (Jesus) came to destroy these works of the devil. The person who has been born into God`s family does not make a practice of sinning, because now God`s life is in him``(1 John 3:8-9). Christ Jesus came into the world to save us from bondage and Satan.
God chose the right time for Jesus to come
God prearranged that the time was right for His Son (Jesus) to come into the world. It was the right time in the world and was also the right time in God`s great plan. From the beginning of the world, God had prepared for this. This should both surprise and impress us, because God showed his love for men.
Galatians 4:4, 5 tell that, “But when the right time finally came, God sent His own Son. He came as the son of a human mother and lived under the Jewish Law, to redeem those who were under the Law, so that we might become God`s sons.”
God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus
Why did God choose Mary to be the mother of Jesus Christ? He could have chosen any rich woman, yet He chose a simple and poor woman. Because God wants to use men for His noble purpose and before Mary was even born, the Sovereign God decided that He would use Mary for His righteous reason.
Then one night, the angel Gabriel visited Mary in a dream and told her that she would give birth to the Son of God. She was a virgin who was engaged to Joseph of Nazareth, a Jewish carpenter. Gabriel told her that God`s power would make the conception possible and said “Nothing will be impossible with God”. When the angel told this to Mary, she immediately consented to God`s will for her life after her initial question on how such a thing would be possible.
The birth of Jesus Christ
On the other hand, Joseph considered calling off the marriage when he learned about Mary`s pregnancy. But an angel appeared to Joseph in a vision and asked him to marry her. The angel told him that the miraculous conception was caused by the Holy Spirit. Consequently, Joseph took Mary as his wife and kept her a virgin until Jesus was born.
Joseph being a descendant of David, had to go to Bethlehem to register with Mary, after an order passed by the Caesar Augustus that a census be taken in the entire Roman world. While in Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to Jesus in a crude stable. There was no room for Joseph`s family at the inn, as the tiny city was crowded with Jews, who also came to register. She wrapped the infant in clothes and laid him in a manger.
Angels, shepherds and wise men came to worship Him and gave precious gifts.
``Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth,
peace towards men.`` …they thus sang.
Presentation of Jesus at the Temple
A week later, time came for the baby to be circumcised and he was named Jesus, the name which the angel had given him before he had been conceived. After all the ceremonial laws concerning purification were complete, Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to present him in the Temple at Jerusalem. The event is described in the Gospel of Luke 2:22–40. It was performed so as to complete Mary`s ritual purification after childbirth and to perform the redemption of the firstborn, in obedience to the Law of Moses (Leviticus 12, Exodus 13:12-15, etc.).
Upon bringing Jesus to the temple, Simeon the Righteous, took him up in his arms and blessed God and said – “At last, Lord, you can dismiss your servant in peace, as you promised! For with my own eyes I have seen your salvation which you have made ready for every people - a light to show truth to the Gentiles and bring glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32).
At that time, Mary and Joseph had to offer a gift to God. But as we know that they were poor, their gift was the cheapest and they could offer only two birds. Although Jesus was the Heir of all things, he became one of the humblest men from birth.
Early days of Jesus
As a child, Jesus was obedient to His parents. Jesus had brothers and sisters. Although his sisters are un-named, his brothers were: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas.
He grew up in Nazareth helping his father Joseph and worked as a carpenter till he reached thirty years of age. He lived in a poor family and served people all his life. Things did not always go well for him; he also had troubles like all of us.
In Philippians 2:7-11 Paul tells us that Jesus left the glory of Heaven and became a human being. He was humble enough to die on the cross. He knew what he was doing. It was not some awful mistake. Jesus himself said that: I did not come so that men would serve me. I came to serve other people. And I came to give my life for many people. (Matthew 20:28)
The Ministry and Miracles of Jesus
It is not feasible to pen Jesus` life in details, since it’s too vast, but let us take a look at a brief summary of his life.
On attaining thirty years of age, one day Jesus came to Jordan to be baptized by John, who was a mission preacher and had been baptizing in Jordan River at that time. John protested when Jesus asked to baptize him as he felt that Jesus was the one who should be baptizing him. But Jesus told him that they needed to do this to fulfill all righteousness, so John baptized him.
And, when he was baptized, the heavens opened and the Spirit of God descended like a dove. Suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, where He fasted forty days and forty nights. But Jesus defeated Satan and the angels came and ministered to Him.
As Jesus traveled around Israel, he taught people with sermons and parables to live Godly lives.
Here is the basic teaching from Jesus` most famous sermon on a mountain:
• Love your enemies.
• Do not judge others.
• Trust God.
• Don`t be anxious about tomorrow.
• Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
Revealing himself as the promised Savior in many ways, Jesus performed countless miracles. God gave him power over nature, power over disease, and even power over death.
The unmistakable miracle of Jesus turning the water into wine at a wedding in Cana, Galilee, was his first miracle (John. 2: 11). This initial miracle is of great magnitude for several reasons, because there he revealed his glory and his disciples developed belief in him.
Then the miraculous raising of Lazarus, a friend of Jesus, who had been dead for four days, was acknowledged as real even by his enemies. When Jesus learned that Lazarus died, he came to Bethany. Jesus shouted ``Lazarus, come forth!`` And Lazarus came out, restored to life! After seeing this, many witnesses believed that Jesus was the son of God. (John 11:1-45)
Some of his other miracles include, healing the sick and several incurable diseases, casting out demons, calming a storm, walking on water and feeding 5000 people with five loaves and two fish, etc.
Death of Jesus Christ
After these miracles, the reputation of Jesus spread wide and people began to flock him. Religious Pharisees and teachers became envious and accused him of blasphemy. Jesus had twelve men, also known as disciples, following him to whom he gave them the power and authority over the Devil.
He sent these disciples out to preach about the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. But one of his apostles, Iscariot Judas, betrayed him and sold him into the hands of Roman authorities in return for 30 silver coins.
Jesus was arrested and brought before Pilate the Governor of Rome. Pilate wanted to release Jesus, but when the Jews threatened a riot, he condemned Jesus to death on a cross.
The Roman soldiers scourged, stripped, and nailed him to a cross. He was crucified on the cross between two robbers on Golgatha, which means the Place of the Skull (Mark 15:22). The sky turned as black as night for three hours, though it was mid-day (Mark 15:33). Jesus cried, “Father! Into your hands I commit my spirit!” and He died (Luke 23:46). Jesus’ body was buried in the new tomb of a rich man named Joseph of Arimathea.
Three days after his death, Jesus rose from his tomb just as he had promised his disciples. According to Matthew and John, Jesus actually appeared first to Mary Magdalene, a follower of Jesus at the sepulcher (John 20:11-18).
And then Jesus appeared to certain other women: Mary the Mother of Jesus, Salome, Joanna and others ( Matthew (28:1-10), Mark (16:1-8), and Luke (24:1-11.)), and to his apostles and many believers, commanding them to teach and baptize others Mark (16:14), Luke (24:36-43) John ( 20:19-29).
The second coming of Jesus Christ
After Jesus had promised to his disciples that they would receive power from the Holy Spirit, which he would send to them when he left, he was taken up back to Heaven before their eyes. As they gazed into the sky, two angels stood beside them and asked, “Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” Luke (24:50-51).
“And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book” Rev 22:7. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. Rev 22:20.