We have all "sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). God sent His only Son (John 3:16) to save us, but only those who believe in Him shall be spared death. Jesus, the Son of God, loves us so much that He sacrificed Himself for our sins, yet He was sinless.
The Biblical Story of His Birth
The angel of the Lord appears to the Virgin Mary
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
The angel of the Lord appears to Joseph
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
The Child Christ is born
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
(In 1965 Charlie Brown asked, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about!?”, and Linus said, "Sure Charlie Brown I can tell you what Christmas is all about and began to quote the Bible)
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
(Then Linus said, "That's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.")
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
Jesus Christ was born circa 6 B.C. in Bethlehem. Little is known about his early life, but his life and his ministry are recorded in the New Testament, more a theological document than a biography. According to Christians, Jesus is considered the incarnation of God and his teachings are followed as an example for living a more spiritual life. Christians believe he died for the sins of all people and rose from the dead.
Background and Early Life of Jesus
Most of Jesus' life is told through the four Gospels of the New Testament Bible, known as the Canonical gospels, written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These are not biographies in the modern sense but accounts with allegorical intent. They are written to engender faith in Jesus as the Messiah and the incarnation of God, who came to teach, suffer and die for people’s sins.
Jesus was born circa 6 B.C. in Bethlehem. His mother, Mary, was a virgin who was betrothed to Joseph, a carpenter. Christians believe Jesus was born through Immaculate Conception. His lineage can be traced back to the house of David. According to the Gospel of Matthew (2:1), Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great, who upon hearing of his birth felt threatened and tried to kill Jesus by ordering all of Bethlehem’s male children under age two to be killed. But Joseph was warned by an angel and took Mary and the child to Egypt until Herod’s death, where upon he brought the family back and settled in the town of Nazareth, in Galilee.
There is very little written about Jesus's early life. The Gospel of Luke (2:41-52) recounts that a 12-year-old Jesus had accompanied his parents on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and became separated. He was found several days later in a temple, discussing affairs with some of Jerusalem’s elders. Throughout the New Testament, there are trace references of Jesus working as a carpenter while a young adult. It is believed that he began his ministry at age 30 when he was baptized by John the Baptist, who upon seeing Jesus, declared him the Son of God.
After baptism, Jesus went into the Judean desert to fast and meditate for 40 days and nights. The Temptation of Christ is chronicled in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke (known as the Synoptic Gospels). The Devil appeared and tempted Jesus three times, once to turn stone to bread, once to cast himself off a mountain where angels would save him, and once to offer him all the kingdoms of the world. All three times, Jesus rejected the Devil's temptation and sent him off.
Jesus returned to Galilee and made trips to neighboring villages. During this time, several people became his disciples. One of these was Mary Magdalene, who is first mentioned the Gospel of Luke (16:9) and later in all four gospels at the crucifixion. Though not mentioned in the context of the "12 disciples," she is considered to have been involved in Jesus's ministry from the beginning to his death and after. According to the gospels of Mark and John, Jesus appeared to Magdalene first after his resurrection.
According to the Gospel of John (2:1-11), as Jesus was beginning his ministry, he and his disciples traveled with his mother, Mary, to a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The wedding host had run out of wine and Jesus's mother came to him for help. At first, Jesus refused to intervene, but then he relented and asked a servant to bring him large jars filled with water. He turned the water into a wine of higher quality than any served during the wedding. John's gospel depicts the event as the first sign of Jesus's glory and his disciples' belief in him.
After the wedding, Jesus, his mother Mary and his disciples traveled to Jerusalem for Passover. At the temple, they saw moneychangers and merchants selling wares. In a rare display of anger, Jesus overturned the tables and, with a whip made of cords, drove them out, declaring that his Father’s house is not a house for merchants.
The Synoptic Gospels chronicle Jesus as he traveled through Judea and Galilee, using parables and miracles to explain how the prophecies were being fulfilled and that the kingdom of God was near. As word spread of Jesus's teaching and healing the sick and diseased, more people began to follow him. At one point, Jesus came to a level area and was joined by a great number of people. There, at the Sermon on the Mount, he presented several discourses, known as the Beatitudes, which encapsulate many of the spiritual teachings of love, humility and compassion.
As Jesus continued preaching about the kingdom of God, the crowds grew larger and began to proclaim him as the son of David and as the Messiah. The Pharisees heard of this and publicly challenged Jesus, accusing him of having the power of Satan. He defended his actions with a parable, then questioned their logic and told them such thinking denied the power of God, which only further hardened their resolve to work against him.
Near the city of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus talked with his disciples. According to the gospels of Matthew (16:13), Mark (8:27) and Luke (9:18), he asked, "Who do you say that I am?" The question confused them, and only Peter responded, saying, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus blessed Peter, accepting the titles of "Christ" and the "Son of God," and declared the proclamation was a divine revelation from God. Jesus then proclaimed Peter to be the leader of the church. Jesus then warned his disciples of the Pharisees’ conspiracy against him and of his fate to suffer and be killed, only to rise from the dead on the third day.
Less than a week later, Jesus took three of his disciples to a high mountain where they could pray alone. According to the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus's face began shining like the sun and his entire body glowed with a white light. Then, the prophets Elijah and Moses appeared, and Jesus talked to them. A bright cloud emerged around them, and a voice said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." This event, known as the Transfiguration, is a pivotal moment in Christian theology. It supports the identity of Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, the week before the holiday of Passover, riding on a donkey. Great numbers of people took palm branches and greeted him at the city's entry. They praised him as the Son of David and as the Son of God. The priests and Pharisees, fearful of the growing public adulation, felt he must be stopped.
All four Gospels describe Jesus's final week in Jerusalem. During this time, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, confronted moneychangers and merchants in the temple, and debated with the high priests who questioned Jesus's authority. He told his disciples about the coming days and that Jerusalem's temple would be destroyed. Meanwhile, the chief priests and elders met with high priest Caiaphas, and set plans in motion to arrest Jesus. One of the disciples, Judas, met with the chief priests and told them how he would deliver Jesus to them. They agreed to pay him 30 pieces of silver.
The Last Supper
Jesus and his 12 disciples met for the Passover meal, and he gave them his final words of faith. He also foretold of his betrayal by one of the disciples and privately let Judas know it was he. Jesus told Peter that before a rooster crowed the next morning, he would have denied knowing Jesus three times. At the end of the meal, Jesus instituted the Eucharist, which in the Christian religion, signifies the covenant between God and humans.
After the Last Supper, Jesus and his disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Jesus asked God if this cup (his suffering and death) might pass by him. He implored a group of his disciples to pray with him, but they kept falling asleep. Then the time had come. Soldiers and officials appeared, and Judas was with them. He gave Jesus a kiss on the cheek to identify him and the soldiers arrested Jesus. One disciple tried to resist the arrest, brandished his sword and cut the ear off one of the soldiers. But Jesus admonished him and healed the soldier's wound.
After his arrest, many of the disciples went into hiding. Jesus was taken to the high priest and interrogated. He was hit and spat upon for not responding. Meanwhile, Peter had followed Jesus to the high priests' court. As he hid in the shadows, three house servants asked if he was one of Jesus' disciples and each time he denied it. After each denial, a rooster crowed. Then Jesus was led out of the house and looked directly at Peter. Peter remembered how Jesus had told him he would deny him and he wept bitterly. Judas, who was watching from a distance, became distraught by his betrayal of Jesus and attempted to return the 30 pieces of silver. The priests told him his guilt was his own. He threw the coins into the temple and later hanged himself.
The next day, Jesus was taken to the high court where he was mocked, beaten and condemned for claiming to be the Son of God. He was brought before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. The priests accused Jesus of claiming to be the king of the Jews and asked that he be condemned to death. At first Pilate tried to pass Jesus off to King Herod, but he was brought back, and Pilate told the Jewish priests he could find no fault with Jesus. The priests reminded him that anyone who claimed to be a king speaks against Caesar. Pilate publicly washed his hands of responsibility, yet ordered the crucifixion in response to the demands of the crowd. The Roman soldiers whipped and beat Jesus, placed a crown of thorns on his head and then led him off to Mount Calvary.
Jesus was crucified with two thieves, one at his left and the other at his right. Above his head was the charge against him, "King of the Jews." At his feet were his mother, Mary, and Mary Magdalene. The Gospels describe various events that occurred during the last three hours of his life, including the taunting by the soldiers and the crowd, Jesus's agony and outbursts, and his final words. While Jesus was on the cross, the sky darkened, and immediately upon his death, an earthquake erupted, tearing the temple's curtain from top to bottom. A soldier confirmed his death by sticking a spear into his side, which produced only water. He was taken down from the cross and buried in a nearby tomb.
Risen from the Dead
Three days after his death, Jesus's tomb was found empty. He had risen from the dead and appeared first to Mary Magdalene and then to his mother Mary. They both informed the disciples, who were in hiding, and later, Jesus appeared to them and told them not to be afraid. During this brief time, he beseeched his disciples to go into the world and preach the gospel to all humanity. After 40 days, Jesus led his disciples to Mount Olivet, east of Jerusalem. Jesus spoke his final words to them, saying that they would receive the power of the Holy Spirit, before he was taken upward on a cloud and ascended into heaven.
("Background and Early Life" of Jesus by Biography.com)
He lives and He will return.
His children’s responsibility
Follow His commands and spread the news. Jesus lives today.
Those of us who know Him personally as our savior are His shepherds and we should spread the word about His birth, His life and His death so others can experience the peace, love and Joy that His children know so others can have eternal life.
Jesus died for us taking the punishment that we deserve. He was buried and on the third day He rose from the dead and lives. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.