Ministry and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ Part 1

About the ministry and crucifixion of Jesus Christ the central figure and Son of God in the Christian religion, a partial biography, history, and look at his life and teachings.


WHEN: 27-30 A.D.

HOW: Revolutionary, religious fanatic, or messiah? Each of these terms has been applied through the centuries to Jesus of Nazareth, a man who, in the short space of 3 years--some authorities make it even less--created such religious turmoil that it cost him his life and, indeed, changed history.

No reliable information can be found on his infancy, adolescence, or early adulthood, although the date 4 B.C. has been accepted as the year of his birth. Even this is confusing, due to calendar rearrangement at a later date.

Jesus wrote nothing during his lifetime that has survived, and we are forced to rely mainly on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, all written down some years after the turmoil had subsided, about 65 to 125 A.D. These, unfortunately, cannot be considered strictly biographical in content, since their message became more important than the man to the writers. And there is some evidence that they took their lead from the subject himself, who, in one passage from the Gospel of Mark (8:30), admonishes his disciples to "tell no man of me." This would seem to imply that Jesus was more interested in creating a spiritual image than a physical one.

Like many other Jews in the area, Jesus came under the influence of John the Baptist, a wild-eyed ascetic who roamed the shores of Galilee and the banks of the Jordan River, preaching impending judgment and the need to repent before Judgment Day came.

In the year 28 A.D., Jesus left the quiet life of Nazareth and joined the multitudes that had gathered at the River Jordan to see John the Baptist. Jesus received the baptism of John and when he came out of the water had a profound religious experience in which he heard a voice from Heaven proclaim him to be the Son of God (Mark 1:9-11).

There followed 40 days and 40 nights of wandering and fasting in the desert, during which time Jesus was sorely tempted by Satan and resisted (Luke 4:1-13). When he returned from this ordeal he began to teach in earnest.

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