What were the key events in the life of Jesus?
Many important events took place in the life of Jesus and have been recorded in the New Testament, especially the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). The essential events described on multiple occasions include His birth, baptism, miracles, teachings, sufferings, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and predicted return.
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Birth: Both Matthew 1 and Luke 1-2 provide accounts of the birth of Jesus and the events surrounding it. Of important note are the facts that Jesus was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:21), in the city of Bethlehem, and was visited by shepherds who arrived following the appearance of angels who told them of the king who had been born. Further, His birth came to fulfill prophecies of one who would come from the seed of Abraham, the tribe of Judah, and the family line of David.
Baptism: Multiple Gospels note the baptism of Jesus by a relative named John the Baptist at around the age of 30 (Matthew 2, Mark 1, Luke 3). This marked the beginning of His public ministry, and included the voice of God speaking from the sky.
Miracles: At least 35 miracles by Jesus are recorded in the New Testament. He healed the sick, the blind, and lepers. On three occasions, he raised individuals from the dead. He also showed power over nature, including stopping a storm and walking on water.
Teachings: The New Testament records people's amazement at the teachings of Jesus (Matthew 7:28-29). Large portions of the Gospels include the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and many of the parables, which were stories with a spiritual purpose.
Sufferings: In fulfillment of Isaiah 53 and other prophecies, Jesus suffered at the hands of His enemies. He was arrested, beaten, and nailed to a cross after the Jewish leaders handed Him over for a death sentence at the approval of the Roman leader Pilate.
Death: The death of Jesus was made clear due to both the impact of His sufferings, His pierced side (John 19:34), His death cry (Luke 23:46-48), Pilate's confirmation (Mark 15:44-45), that He was embalmed in about 75 pounds of spices (John 19:39), and that He remained in the tomb three days.
Resurrection: The New Testament records on multiple occasions that the tomb was empty on the third day and that many eyewitnesses claimed to see Jesus alive again. First Corinthians 15 mentions 500 people who saw the resurrected Jesus, most of whom were still alive when Paul wrote about 20 years later. At least 513 different people were referred to as seeing Jesus alive again, including several followers who died for this belief.
Ascension: After 40 days, Jesus ascended into the sky (Matthew 28; Luke 24; Acts 1) with the promise that He would return again.
Promised Return: Many New Testament teachings note the promised return of Jesus as an essential teaching. It is predicted as taking place at any moment, though no one will know the exact time (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). This promise was intended to encourage believers to live holy lives, share their faith with others, and look forward with anticipation to eternity in the Lord's presence.
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