3. The Life of Jesus

The first four books of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) are four parallel records of the life and ministry of Jesus. These records include a description of the time when Jesus' mother was told that she was to be the mother of Jesus. That passage reveals what was to be expected from him, and that he was to become a king,

Luke 1:30: Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31. "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32. "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33. "And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." NKJV

This is not about being just any king. This is claimed to be “the son of the highest”, or elsewhere rendered the son of God. It is also said that God would give him the throne of his father David. King David was perhaps the greatest king of the ancient nation of Israel, and ruled around 1000BC. King David's kingdom was finite both in time and extent, but Jesus was said to receive reign forever, and have a kingdom with no end.

If Luke 1 is true, a messenger from the true God came to Mary, and gave this message to her. So according to the Bible, Jesus was indeed going to be an important person, and even the most important person to be born. There can only be one person who can be king over the world forever.

As the record of the gospels continues, the course of the life of Jesus is mapped out. Little is said of his life until he reached 30 years old. He then spent three years travelling around the region of Israel teaching a message of repentance and a faith in God.

Jesus in the Old Testament

At the time of Jesus, the concept of a saviour appearing in Israel was not strange. In fact, according to the gospel records, much of the conflict that Jesus encountered was from people believing that He wasn't doing the things that they expected the saviour to be doing.

In an incident recorded in John 7, Jesus claimed directly that he was sent from God. Many of the people took offence at that, and considered it blasphemy. Some, however, believed in what he said, and that was in part on account of them expecting someone of this nature to appear:

John 7:28: Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, "You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. 29. "But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me." 30. Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. 31. And many of the people believed in Him, and said, "When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?" NKJV

The believers were already expecting this “Christ”, and they could see from the things that Jesus was doing that he fitted the description. In fact, the Jews had always expected this saviour from the prophecies and law in the Old Testament. For example the following words were given to Joseph before the birth of Jesus.

Matthew 1:21: "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." 22. So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23. "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." NKJV

It was then just a question for the Jews of whether they would believe that Jesus was indeed that messiah. It is also a question to all people of whether the Jewish Messiah is relevant to them.