Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ

Born: c. 4 B.C. in Judea, Roman Empire
Died: 30-33 AD (at age about 33) in Judea, Roman Empire
Nationality: Jewish
Famous For: Founder and leader of Christianity

Jesus Christ is one of the most influential figures in today’s society, both as the focus of Christian faith, as well as other religions throughout the world. Christianity teaches that He is the Son of God and the long awaited Messiah hailed in the Old Testament of the Bible. Although a lot of the accounts of Jesus are based on belief rather than documented artifacts, scholars agree that He was a Jewish preacher that was a significant figure in His time.

The Early Life of Jesus

The canonical gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John, believed to have been written 70-200 years after the death of Jesus, are the most widely accepted historical sources. According to these scriptures, Jesus Christ was born 4 B.C. in Bethlehem, Israel, as a fulfillment of numerous predictions that had been made by prophets in the Old Testament.

According to the Bible, Jesus’ mother, Mary, conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit, who forms the Holy Trinity. At the time, Mary was engaged to a Nazarene named Joseph.

Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great and His birth is described as both lowly and divinely majestic. Eight days after His birth, he was circumcised according to the Jewish tradition and presented in the temple after 40 days where He was received by a prophet named Simeon. After being warned by an angel, the family fled to Egypt to protect the child from the king and returned after Herod’s death. At 12 years old, Jesus is depicted as very intellectual, challenging Jewish teachers of the law.

His Ministry

Little is documented between the age of 12 and 30 where Jesus Christ is said to have lived with His parents. At age 30, He began His evangelical ministry by being baptized by His predecessor, John the Baptist, and getting a heavenly approval. He then proceeded on a 40-day fast after which He appointed His cabinet of twelve followers, or apostles.

Jesus performed His first miracle by turning water into wine at a wedding ceremony in Cana, Galilee. This would mark the beginning of a long account of marvelous works including healing the sick, blind, deaf, exorcising evil spirits, feeding thousands on a handful of food, and raising the dead, among others.

Jesus is also portrayed as a charismatic teacher of the Jewish law, with such wisdom that sometimes sparked tension between Him and the traditional teachers like the Pharisees. In several instances, these Pharisees tested His knowledge and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures and Jesus would call them hypocrites. Such episodes would result in the Pharisees seeking a way to silence Him because they perceived Him as a threat.

The Leadership of Jesus

From an early age, Jesus Christ is portrayed as having the favor of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. For believers and non-believers alike, He is demonstrated as a selfless leader keen on serving rather than being served, and is hailed as a shepherd and friend rather than a superior.

Jesus led a simple life and He is never mentioned as having money or owning property. Unlike the Pharisees whom He constantly challenged and criticized, He maintained consistency and encouraged others to do what He did rather than what He said, thus leading by example.

Additionally, although His primary mission is documented as saving sinners, He did not judge them. Rather, He condemned the offence, not the offender, and He encouraged making amends for such wrongs.

Persecution, Death, and Resurrection

At the end of His three year ministry, Jesus Christ predicted His persecution, demise, and restoration. In the days leading up to His betrayal by one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, a lot of apprehension had grown in Jerusalem. Jesus was arrested by the roman authorities and tried in public.

Although the roman ruler, Pontius Pilate, found Him innocent, the Jewish high priests demanded His death. He was crucified and died on a Friday. After His tomb burial, He resurrected the following Sunday and went on to live and teach His disciples for the next 40 days before ascending to Heaven.