|(“With great humbleness, we are not attempting at all, to write about the Life of Jesus Christ.|
We only hope to outline and give few facts of His life, message and teaching.
It is bound to be inadequate.”)
|Jesus Christ ruling figure of Christianity, born in Bethlehem, to a peasant family between eight BC and four AD. We know very little about Jesus' life.|
The first record of his life was written some forty years after his death.
For many: a Savior, a healer, a prophet, and a teacher, whose life and teachings formed the foundation of Christianity. Christians regard Jesus as the incarnate Son of God, and as having been divinely conceived by Mary the wife of Joseph - a carpenter from Nazareth.
The main sources of information concerning Jesus’ life are the Gospels, written in the latter half of the first century. Today, scholars generally agree that Jesus was a historical figure verified both by Christian writers and by several Roman and Jewish historians.
St. Paul, the earliest writer, who was a Jew, who created the religion we now know as Christianity, believed that Jesus had been the Messiah, The word Christ was a Greek translation of the Hebrew word Mashiach - The Anointed One who will come one day and redeem us all. Many Jews during his lifetime, believed that he was the Messiah who came to Jerusalem in triumph and was glorified as the beloved son of Joseph who descended from King David.
Only few days later, he was put to death by the cruel Roman execution of crucifixion. There were rumors that he had risen from the dead; some said that his tomb had been found empty three days after his crucifixion; some people saw him in visions; on one occasion 500 people saw him simultaneously.
His disciples believed that He would return to inaugurate the messianic Kingdom of God.
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The first Christians/Jews saw him as a new Moses, New Joshua, and the founder of a new Israel.
Two of the Gospels, Matthew and Luke, provide information about Jesus’ birth and childhood (Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-38) An angel visited Mary and told her that she will bear a child who was conceived by the Holy Spirit. There was an ancient belief that a new star will appear in the sky when a new ruler is born. Three wise men saw the star in the east and came to Bethlehem to pay tribute and worship Jesus.
The announcement that a new king was born was troublesome for King Herod. He ordered all children under two years old in the Bethlehem area to be killed.
Joseph was instructed in a dream to take Jesus and Mary and flee to Egypt. According to Matthew, they came back to their home in Nazareth when they heard that King Herod was dead.
At the age of about thirty Jesus went to the Jordan River to be baptized by his cousin, John the Baptist, the Prophet who was conducting baptism according to the Jewish practice, in preparation for the Kingdom to come. After that he withdrew to the mountains of the Judean desert for 40 days where he was tempted three times by the devil. When he came back he worked for a while with John the Baptist.
Jesus’ public ministry began after the jailing of John the Baptist and lasts about one year. He moved to Capernaum and made it his headquarters of ministry; He selected twelve disciples to work with, to model the twelve tribes of Israel. From there he traveled to neighboring towns, preaching and teaching the good news of the Kingdom of God. He performed miracles such as: Turning water into wine; Healing the sick; Restoring the dead to life; Walking on water; Casting demons out of the possessed and turning a few loaves of bread and fish into enough food to feed a crowd of thousands.
His followers increased in number, He promised forgiveness and eternal life in heaven to the most sinful, provided their repentance was sincere. This induced the hatred of the Jewish Pharisees, who feared that his teachings might lead to disregard for the authority of the Torah.
Despite the Jewish Authorities opposition, Jesus’ popularity increased. He was devoted to the Torah, preached radical and in many cases more stringent observance and application of Jewish laws. The people could relate to his teaching in their own understanding of life. For Jesus, God's demand is summed up in the two critical commandments in Judaism upon which everything else rested. To love God means placing God first in one's life. The main thing Jesus taught which was different from his teachers was not only love thy neighbor as yourself but love thy enemy, a selfless service to everyone even to those disregarded by society, and forgiveness is the supreme expression of love.
In his most famous address "The Sermon on the Mount", he spoke with uplifting comforting ideas, directed to all his followers and the messianic organizations who responded to His message of the new Kingdom. He taught the rules of the Kingdom and the new covenant, ethical teaching with a series of demands for conduct of oneself in relationship to each other and to God.
Jesus now was a labeled man, as his followers grew, his enemies grew too. The Sanhedrin - the Jewish Rabbinical Authority in Jerusalem challenged him on specific issues seeking to question him into self-discrimination. When all fail they decided to get rid of Him out of concern that Jesus’ activities would turn the Romans against them and the Jewish people (John 11:48), fearing that any disturbance of the peace would lead to Roman intervention and destroy the delicate balance between Jewish and Roman power.
On the Sunday before Passover, Jesus entered Jerusalem. He sent two of his disciples to get a donkey that had never been ridden before on which he would ride to Jerusalem. They brought the donkey and laid their garments on it and Jesus rode into the city. He was welcomed upon
entering the city by crowds singing and rejoicing following Him to the Temple. In less then a week the same crowd would be demanding His death on a cross.
That week before the Passover Holiday Jerusalem was full of Jewish pilgrims, who traveled from all over to visit the city and the temple. Jesus rode directly to the temple. A major festival market operated in the Temple. People had been allowed to conduct business in the outer court (Mark 11:15-19). Jesus disputed with the authorities and they questioned him about his authority, explaining the danger of his activities. Jesus prophesied the fall of the Temple.
On Thursday, during Passover supper He celebrated a farewell meal with his disciples, In the course of it he spoke of his looming betrayal and impending death as a sacrifice for the sins of humanity. He assured His Disciples of the coming of the Kingdom of God. Later this evening, the Temple police and Roman soldiers arrested Him. Jesus was taken to a meeting of the supreme council of the Jewish authorities. They found sufficient ground to warrant an accusation of high faithlessness and brought Him before Pontius Pilate. There, Jesus was condemned to death as a messianic pretender. Pilate ultimately left the decision to the people, and they insisted on Jesus’ death. Jesus was executed by crucifixion with two other criminals guilty of rebellion.
Later in the day before sunset, his body was taken down and buried in a tomb by followers. Early on the following Sunday, his disciples found the tomb empty. Later the same day, according to Luke, John, and Mark, Jesus appeared at various locations in and near Jerusalem.
Finally, according to Luke (24:50-51), Jesus ascended to heaven 40 days after the Resurrection.
After His death, His followers decided that Jesus had been divine. This did not happen immediately; the development of Christian belief in the Incarnation, was gradual and the doctrine that Jesus had been God in human form was finalized in the fourth century.
By Lena Mor - www.HolyLandNetwork.com
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