Jesus Christ

November 25, 2012 3:25 am

The teachings of Jesus inspired one of the world’s major religions—Christianity. Jesus’ followers, known as Christians, gave him the title of Christ, which means “savior.” They believe Jesus Christ was the Son of God, who came to save humanity from sin.
The story of Jesus’ life and his teachings was written down in four books called the Gospels. Gospel means “good news,” the good news that Jesus brought. The Gospels were written soon after the death of Jesus. They form part of the New Testament of the Bible.
SON OF MARY
Jesus was born between 8 bc and 4 bc, in Bethlehem in the Roman territory of Judea. His family was Jewish. The Gospels say that an angel told Mary, the mother of Jesus, that she would have God’s son. The Gospels also report that shepherds and wise men came to worship the baby Jesus, as Mary sheltered him in a stable.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Jesus lived quietly until he was 30 years old. Then, about ad 27, he left home to be a preacher. Large crowds gathered to hear his words. The Gospels say he performed many miracles.
Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God was coming. He warned everyone to get ready. He told them to be kind to their neighbors, care for the poor and for weak and hungry people, and live pure, holy lives. He said good behavior like this was more important for entering the Kingdom of God than obeying old, Jewish religious laws.
Jesus had many devoted followers. They hailed him as the Messiah, or Christ, who was predicted by Jewish prophets. These prophets had said that a Messiah chosen by God would bring peace and justice to the world.
DEATH AND RESURRECTION
The teachings of Jesus alarmed Jewish leaders. They feared that Jesus would lead people to ignore Jewish laws. They were also afraid that his teachings would land them in trouble with the Roman rulers. Jesus was arrested and sentenced to death for the religious crime of claiming to be the Son of God and King of the Jews.
Jesus was crucified (killed on a cross) around ad 29. But three days later, his followers said they had seen him. Soon afterward, they reported that Jesus had appeared again and had told them to spread his teachings around the world. Jesus’ rising from the dead is known as the Resurrection. The Resurrection gives Christians hope in life after death. According to the Bible, Jesus rose to heaven 40 days after the Resurrection.
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