Overview of the life of Jesus Christ.
Birth and Childhood. We know that Jesus Christ was born in the closing years of Herod the greats reign (Matt 2:1; Luke 1:5) and so sometime around 6 to 4 BC. The length of Jesus public ministry is uncertain. The synoptic gospels (that is the similar gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke) have a linear view of his ministry starting in Galilee and slowly moving southwards towards Jerusalem where He is crucified. This linear view could fit into a single year. John’s gospel however has Jesus visiting Jerusalem regularly. At least 3 Passovers are noted (John 2:13, 6:4, 11:55). Scholars tend to take Johns writings as more probable, as such trips to Jerusalem were quite expected of Jews in general. With this in mind, Jesus’ ministry would have lasted between two and a half and three and a half years, AD 27-30 or AD 30-33
Matthew and Luke provide accounts of Jesus Christ’ birth (Matthew 1-2, Luke 1-2). Matthews story focuses on Joseph while Luke’s is on Mary. Matthew recounts the star that prompts the coming of the magi; the attempt by Herod to kill Jesus and the family’s escape to Egypt. Luke parallels the birth of Jesus with that of John the Baptist and describes the census of Caesar Augustus that brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem and Jesus’ birth in a lowly stable.Both Matthew and Luke provide genealogies that confirms Jesus’ credentials as the messiah (Matt 1: 1-17, Luke 3: 23-28). Matthew however traces Jesus ancestry from Abraham to Jesus, via Davids son Solomon. Luke’s however moves from Jesus , through Davids son Nathan and onto Adam.The traditional explanation for the difference is that Matthew follows Josephs line, while Luke follows Marys.
Preparation for ministry. All four gospels precede Jesus public ministry with that of John the Baptist. John is the beginning of the gospels, the prophetic bridge between old testament and the new. John denied that he was the messiah, pointing instead to Jesus Christ, the “lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world (John 1: 29-36).
Jesus submitted himself to Johns baptism, thus identifying with the repentant. After his baptism, Jesus was led by the holy spirit into the wilderness, where satan woud tempt him for 40 days. By resisting Satans temptations to act on his own power, and for his own good, Jesus proved that he was able to accomplish Gods plan.
Galilean ministry. Jesus Christ began his public ministry just after John the Baptist was martyred by Herod Antipas. His message was, “ … the time has come…the kingdom of God is at hand.. repent and believe in the good news”.
The primary underlying teaching that Jesus repeats over and over is that we are simply passing through this world as pilgrims or sojourners. He teaches us to have disdain for what is earthly and focus on what is heavenly. Everything else between birth and death is irrelevant except the teachings on how to prepare for where we are going.Familiarize yourself with Jesus Christ’ teachings (both on this web site and by reading the gospels) for they are the eternal words that we will carry with us into the afterlife.
His early ministry was centered around the sea of Galilee. There he called his disciples, preached the Kingdom of God, cast out demons and healed the sick. The exorcisms demonstrated that the Kingdom of God was assaulting and overwhelming Satan’s authority in this world. He also demonstrated his power over death by resurrecting at least 3 people (Jairus’ daughter, Lazarus and the widows son at Nain).
From his many followers he designated twelve as apostles or messengers and sent them out to preach and heal (Mark 3: 13-19). Jesus Christs claims to divine authority, association with sinners and tax collectors and apparent violation of the Sabbath law infuriated the Jewish religious leaders, who challenged his authority and accused him of blasphemy.
The climax of the Galilean ministry came when Simon Peter identifies Jesus as the messiah. From that point on Jesus begins to teach them that he must go to Jerusalem where he would suffer and die. Matt 16: 13-23 and parallels. Shortly after this he shows Peter, James and John his divine glory through the transfiguration.
Last days in Jerusalem. On Palm Sunday he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey from the mount of olives in fulfillment of Zachariah 9:9, his first public revelation as the messiah. Entering the temple, he took a whip and drove out the money changers and sellers of sacrificial animals. Such provocative action could not go unchallenged and during the course of that week, the Jerusalem authorities (scribes and Pharisees) repeatedly confront Jesus challenging his authority and attempting to trap him in his own words. Jesus responds by defeating them in debate and frustrating them further. (Matt 22-23).Jesus also teaches his disciples about the imminent destruction of Jerusalem and instructing them concerning the end of the age and His own return as the Son of man (Matt 24-25).
Passion of the messiah. On Thursday evening, Jesus brought his disciples together for a final meal.He transformed the Jewish Passover into a new celebration, the Lords supper; a ritual where his disciples would eat bread and drink wine in remembrance of his sacrificial death.
He then leads his disciples to the garden of gethsemane, an olive grove near Jerusalem, for prayer. It is at this stage that Judas the betrayer shows up with religious leaders and soldiers, taking Jesus into their custody. In the hours that follow, Jesus is taken before the Sanhedrin (Jewish high court), accused of seeking to destroy the temple, of blasphemy and of claiming to be the messiah. They pronounce him guilty and sentence him to death.
The next morning, they take Jesus Christ to Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, since the Sanhedrin did not have authority in capital cases.Pilate questions him, has him whipped, but sees no need to execute him. He is coerced by members of the Sanhedrin and the Jewish mob into acceding to their request. He did so grudgingly and even washes his hands of the matter. One of the sources of Roman strength was their impartiality when it came to the law; all were equal under it. Pilate could see no wrong in Jesus, at least nothing justifying death.
Like other victims of crucifixion, Jesus Christ dies a horrific death of exhaustion, blood loss and asphyxiation. His body was taken down from the cross before the Sabbath began (Friday 6pm) and was laid in a new tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea (a member of the Jewish high council).
The resurrection of the messiah. On Sunday morning, a group of women come to the tomb, to anoint Jesus’ body with spices as part of the burial process. Instead they find the tomb empty, the body gone and an angel announcing that Jesus had risen from the dead.
Jesus subsequently appears to the eleven (Judas having committed suicide) and many others. There are at least 10 resurrection appearances in the gosplels. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation of Christianity. It proves Jesus Christ deity, that his death was an atoning sacrifice for our sins, and that we will also be raised from the dead to join him in his Kingdom.
The deity of Jesus Christ comes from his teachings, miracles and the resurrection; most especially the resurrection. Now, there is much debate about the resurrection and whether it was something that his disciples orchestrated for purposes of furthering Jesus’ teachings. While there has been much speculation, we think that the likelihood of unscrupulous machinations by his disciples is very unlikely. These were simple peasants, with little to no schooling, with much of their skill having been handed from generation to generation (in an apprenticeship kind of arrangement).It’s not likely that they would have had the wherewithal to carry it off, leave alone growing Christianity into what it is today.
It seems reasonably possible that something extraordinary must have happened for these disciples, especially the 11, to boldly spread the word. These were the men that had all fearfully chosen to abandon Jesus in his hour of need. It may not have been as deliberate as Judas Iscariot, but they did betray Jesus by abandoning him.
What happened to spur them on even when they knew the consequences of spreading the faith; Jesus Christ ‘ crucifixion being still very fresh in their minds?It must have been something very extraordinary to spur simpletons to boldly take on the Jewish authorities that had made it very clear what they thought of our Lord and his teachings.
Yes, it’s natural to have doubts. But when you throw yourself into His teachings (which ring so very nobly true), you cannot help but feel that here was a man well above other men. His resurrection, which we are confident happened, then emboldened the 11 to the point where they were willing to be massacred rather than betray their master again.
Read through the teachings of Jesus Christ on the site and make a point of familiarizing yourself with the gospels. Thereafter read more on his teachings. Am sure you will get more and more confident, should you have any doubts regarding his deity.
If you doubt his deity, then practice what he preaches. The experiential nature of Jesus Christ’ teachings will allow you to experience what he wanted us to. Jesus Christ himself says that it is preferable to practice rather than simply acquiring knowledge. Am convinced that an average Joe that practices what Jesus Christ preaches is of a nobler character than a theology professor, that fails to practice… In this case..practice is truly what makes perfect! And no, you don’t need 10,000 hours; it just takes a few moments of practice to see what He wanted us to see, hear and understand.
May our Lord Jesus Christ bless you abundantly!