Jesus was born as a baby to Mary in Bethlehem. Joseph married Mary and raised Jesus as his own son, even though both Mary and Joseph knew that Jesus was the son of God. Mary and Joseph named the baby Jesus, the Greek version of the Hebrew Joshua, just as the angels told them to do.
Jesus seemed to have learned Joseph's trade as a builder, but he also seems to have been carefully educated in the scriptures (he may have been a scribe) - what he called the Law and the Prophets, and which we call the Old Testament.
After he was grown, Jesus began a mission of preaching, teaching, and healing in Palestine. He was baptized by his cousin, John the Baptizer.
Jesus attracted followers or students,
called disciples, as he traveled around the countryside.
The story of his life and his teaching is told in the first four books of
the New Testament, the Gospel (or good news) of Matthew,
Mark, Luke, and John.
So many people came to hear his preaching and to change their lives to a better way of living that the Roman and Jewish leaders of that time became anxious. They were afraid he would make too many changes. During his passion, or Holy Week, they took him to court, tried him, humiliated him, and crucified him, which was a painful and shameful public death on a wooden cross.
After his death, he rose from the dead on Easter morning and ascended to God in heaven. By his suffering and death, he saved all of us from our sins and from separation from God.
The risen Jesus is called the Christ, which means Messiah or Savior, the savior that God promised again and again to send in the Old Testament writings. The Christian statement of belief in Jesus is stated in the Second Article of the Apostles' Creed.
After his death and resurrection, Jesus
sent the Holy Spirit to us to be our Comforter.
We celebrate the good news of what Jesus did for us by sharing his story and by living lives of gratitude to God, who chose to keep all his promises to his people through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
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