Hello everyone. 🙂 Today I will be sharing a summary of the life of Jesus. For those who are already familiar with the story of Jesus, this post may or may not be especially helpful, but it never ever hurts to review the beautiful story of His life. This being said, this summary can also serve as a refresher for those who may have heard the story of Jesus, but who don’t remember it well. This summary is especially intended to provide an overview of the life of Jesus for those who may have never really heard the story of His life before. I would like to encourage everyone to read the scripture verses I’m linking below. Yes, reading takes time, but when you read the scriptures, you will be able to see what I am saying for yourselves. With the exception of the hyperlinked phrase, “One of the three Persons of the God-head,” all of the hyperlinked words re-direct to corresponding Bible verses.
1. His origins and early years: Jesus, whom we learned last week is One of the three Persons of the God-head, came to earth from heaven in a truly miraculous way. He allowed Himself to become a tiny embryo which grew in the womb of the virgin Mary. Matthew 1:18-2 He was born in a manger (an animal feeding trough) in Bethlehem. You can read the story of Jesus’ birth (often called “The Nativity”) here. Jesus grew up in a poor family in Nazareth- a town that wasn’t well thought of. Jesus developed mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually. As He was maturing, He was a diligent student of the Scriptures. This education is evident in the interaction he had with the learned teachers in the temple at Jerusalem when He was 12. During this same experience at age 12, Jesus also revealed the fact that He realized Who His true Father was (Remember: Jesus was born to the virgin Mary. After Mary had conceived Jesus, she married a man named Joseph).
2. His three and a half years of public ministry.
At the start of Jesus’ three and a half years of public ministry, He went to the Jordan river where John the Baptist baptized Him. After Jesus had been raised up from the water, the Holy Spirit landed on Him in the form of a dove, and God the Father spoke from heaven, stating that He was well pleased with His Son.
After Jesus’ baptism, He went into the wilderness where He fasted and prayed for forty days and forty nights. While He was in a state of starvation, Satan physically came and tempted Him. Satan tempted Jesus three times. During the first two times he began his temptations with, “If You are the Son of God” (Matthew 4:3&6). Satan first tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread, and then he took Him to Jerusalem and tempted Him to jump off of the roof of the temple there, trusting that God the Father would send angels to catch Him.
Both times, Jesus resisted the temptations (to doubt that He was God, to “prove” that He was God by turning stones into bread and to be presumptuous by recklessly jumping off of the roof of the temple while foolishly trusting God the Father to protect Him while committing this reckless act) by responding to them with scripture verses. Even after this, Satan stubbornly came up with an even bolder temptation. He took Jesus to a very high mountain which overlooked glorious kingdoms. He promised to give Jesus these kingdoms on the one condition that Jesus would bow down and worship him. This was a bold and wicked thing for Satan, a fallen angel, to say to Jesus, who is one of the Persons of the God-head. Jesus responded righteously and resolutely. He said, ” Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve. ” (Matthew 4:10) At this, the devil left Jesus alone and holy angels came and ministered to Him. Jesus had come forth a Conqueror.
After this, Jesus went back into the society where, while traveling with and mentoring His twelve disciples (disciples are followers, apprentices or students) for three and a half years, He healed the sick, raised the dead and taught people about the ways and will of God. The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) mostly record this phase of Jesus’ ministry on earth. In this series, I will largely be drawing from this phase of His life on earth as I share insights on Who He Is, what we can learn from Him on how human beings should relate to one another and lastly, and most importantly, how we can have personal relationships with Him.
3. His Death and Resurrection
To me, the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection is the most profound and the most touching part of the story of His time on earth. Jesus came to this world to show us what a holy and pure life is like and then to pay the awful penalty for sin by His death. In ancient Israel, God commanded that His people sacrifice lambs, and other specified animals, when they were confessing their sins (some examples: Leviticus 9:3; Numbers 6:14). These sacrificed animals represented Jesus. In Revelation 13:8 (KJV), Jesus is referred to as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” John the Baptist, who baptized Jesus, said; “…Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29 (KJV) .
Sin is deadly business….so deadly that Someone had to die in order to pay for the consequences of it. As Hebrews 9:22 (KJV). states; “…almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” For those who don’t know what “remission” means, definition number two on this page provides a good explanation.
The crucifixion of Jesus was both a horrific demonstration of the worst traits in humanity (these traits are the result of sin) and an amazing demonstration of the INCREDIBLY merciful, loving and just character of God. Those who are interested can read the crucifixion story, starting shortly before Jesus’ arrest and ending at His burial, here: Matthew 26:36-75, Matthew 27:1-60 (There are also accounts of the crucifixion towards the ends of the books of Mark, Luke and John. It is best to read all of these accounts in order to get a fuller sense of what happened during these closing scenes of Jesus’ time on earth.)
Jesus rose from the dead and after a time of ministering to people on earth, He went back to heaven. (This hyper-link leads to Luke 24. There are also accounts of the brief phase of Jesus’ life after His resurrection and shortly before His ascension (when He went back to heaven) in the books of Matthew, Mark, and John. It is best to read all of these accounts in order to get a fuller sense of what happened during these closing scenes of Jesus’ time on earth.) Jesus, the ultimate High Priest.
4. Where Jesus Is Now and What He Is Doing Now
Jesus is currently in heaven. He is our High Priest and He is interceding for us. God ordained that, as a part of the sacrificial system which was in place before Jesus came to earth, there would be high priests. This page is full of references to verses which mention the term, “high priest”. The earthly high priests were intended to represent Jesus, the ultimate High Priest. These verses make it very clear that Jesus is our High Priest and that He is interceding for us.
5. What Jesus Will Do in the Future
He is coming again! He is going to finish His High Priestly work in heaven, and then He will come back to earth, take those who love Him to live with Him in heaven, destroy this earth, which has been irreparably (completely) ruined by sin, and create a “new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:13 (KJV)
In closing, here is a beautiful song which helps us to look forward to Jesus’ coming.
I hope that this blog-post has been helpful to you all. I invite you all to stay tuned as I will be sharing specific lessons that we can learn from the beautiful life and example of Jesus for the next few weeks (at least!). Blessings. 🙂
The vast majority of the hyperlinked verses in this blog-post are from the New King James Version. I quoted Matthew 4:10 from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.