Jesus of Nazareth

He was born to a peasant girl betrothed to a carpenter of Nazareth in Galilee, a rural community in the hinterlands of Israel (Luke 1). He received no formal education (John 7:15). Yet, even from His younger days, it was evident that something was different about Jesus of Nazareth (Luke 2:46-52).

In the days of the Emperor Tiberius, when He was around 31 years old, Jesus was baptized in the Jordan by John the Baptist, even though John felt that he needed to be baptized instead by Him (Luke 3). Jesus spent forty days and nights being tempted by the devil in the wilderness, and having bested him, returned to begin His ministry: to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God (Luke 4).

He gathered twelve men whom He would teach quite personally and intimately. They included Galilean fishermen, a tax collector, and a revolutionary, among others (Luke 6:13-17).

Jesus taught the people constantly, but His teaching was different: He spoke with authority, unlike the Jewish scribes (Matthew 7:28-29). He often spoke in parables, stories that were full of spiritual meaning (Matthew 13). Even those opposed to Him had to admit it: no one ever spoke like Jesus did (John 7:46)!

But Jesus was much, much more than just a teacher. He fed a multitude with five loaves of barley and two fishes (John 6:1-14). He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, cast out demons from the oppressed, and even raised the dead (Luke 7:22, John 11:34-44).

After teaching and ministering for about three years, the opposition of the establishment grew too strong. Jesus strongly condemned the Jewish religious authorities for their hypocrisy and sanctimony (cf. Matthew 23); they plotted against Him. When He was present in Jerusalem for the Passover festival in 30 CE, His end came: He was betrayed by one of His disciples, condemned in a show trial, scourged by the Roman authorities, delivered to be crucified as a common criminal, and He died (cf. Matthew 26-27).

Yet, on the third day, Jesus was raised from the dead through the power of God in the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28, Romans 8:11). He taught and commissioned His disciples to proclaim His message to all Israel and all the nations, and ascended to be with the Father on high (Luke 24, Acts 1). Ten days later, on the day of Pentecost, Peter the disciple of Jesus stood and preached boldly the truth regarding Jesus of Nazareth: He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, crucified for the sins of man, and raised in power to be Lord of all (Acts 2). One day, He will return to judge the living and the dead (Acts 17:30-31).

Thus we learn, from the New Testament, regarding the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. This truth has been preached ever since, and people have been able to obtain freedom from sin and the hope of eternal life through belief in Jesus and service to His name (cf. Romans 6). Do you recognize that Jesus is Lord? Have you believed in Him, confessed His name before others, repented of your sins, and been immersed in water for the remission of sin (Romans 10:9-10, Acts 2:38)? Consider doing so today!

ELDV

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