Birth and Earliest Years
Matthew and Luke tell the story of Jesus' birth, which occurred during the reign of the Emperor Augustus (43 BC- AD 14). Gabriel, an angel, appeared to the priest Zechariah in Jerusalem and also to a young, unmarried woman named Mary in Nazareth. The angel told Mary that she would Mary became pregnant from the Holy Spirit. Mary was betrothed to Joseph, and they were forced to travel to Bethlehem, the town of Joseph's family, because a census had been decreed. Because there was no room anywhere for them, she was forced to have the baby in very inconvenient accommodations.
Baptism and Temptation
At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. The Spirit of God descended on Jesus during his baptism, and the voice of God was heard saying, "You are my son, whom I love" (Mark 1:11).
Jesus then entered the wilderness alone and was tested for forty days by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus combated the temptation of Satan with Scripture. Following Jesus' time in the desert, he began to gain followers and establish his reputation.
Beginning of Galilee Ministry
After Jesus’ baptism, some of John the Baptist’s disciples began to follow Jesus instead, specifically Andrew and possible John the beloved (John 1:35-42). This is also when Andrew calls his brother Simon Peter. Upon the arrest of John the Baptist, Jesus moved his ministry north to Galilee (Mark 1:11). He continued to travel throughout the land gathering more disciples including his twelve main disciples. He performed his first miracle at a wedding feast in Cana where he turned water into wine (John 2:1-12). After the death of John the Baptist at the hand of Herod Antipus, a rumor spread that Jesus was John returned to life (Mark 6:16). Jesus stayed close to the borders between Herod Antipus and Philip’s territory in case Antipus ever decided to pursue Jesus.
As Jesus' ministry progressed he was followed by large crowds (Mark 3:7). He taught in front of these crowds, with one of his most famous teachings being the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Jesus sent his disciples out two-by-two to proclaim about him. He performed miracles such as feeding 5,000 people, feeding 4,000 people, casting out demons (Mark 16:9), and healing those who were sick (Matthew 8:5). He ministered to all people, including Samaritans, who at that time, were looked down by Jews. His actions gained him much popularity.
The greatest opposition to Jesus was the religious elite: Sadducees, Pharisees, and scribes. They were critical because he did not keep to the Sabbath tradition, he was relaxed about purity laws, he put his authority above the law, Jesus was critical of them, and he put himself equal to God. Jesus would heal the sick and infirmed on the Sabbath, eat food without doing any ritualistic cleansing, make clarifying statements to the law of Moses, accuse the religious elite of being more concerned about their outward appearance than their inward, and Jesus would make statements such as, “before Abraham was, I AM.” It was because of these actions that the religious elites sought to kill Jesus.
Jesus "Sets His Face" Toward Jerusalem
"When the days were coming to a close for Him to be taken up, He set His face to journey to Jerusalem."
Jesus made three predictions of His death along the road to Jersualem:
1) At Caesarea Philippi. "Then He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the Scribes, be killed, and rise after three days." Mark 8:31
2) In central Galilee. "The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill Him, and after He is killed He will rise three days later." Mark 9:31
3) Near Jerusalem. "The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death." Mark 10:33.
Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion
Judas received thirty silver pieces to deceive Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16). He identified Him with a kiss after leading priests and temple police to arrest Jesus (Luke 22:52, John 18:3, 12). JEsus was carried out and brought before the high priest Caiaphas for trial. Caiaphus deferred him to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, which likely took place at the Antonia Fortress. The Sanhedrin presented Jesus as a man who had disturbed the peace in Galilee, claiming to be the "king of the Jews." Impacted strongly by the pressure of the Sanhedrin leaders, who testified against Jesus, He was handed over to the troops to commence the crucifixion.
Burial and Resurrection
A wealthy member of the Sanhedrin, who secretly believed in Jesus, offered an empty tomb he possessed for Jesus' burial.
Joseph and Nicodemus carried Jesus' body to Joseph's tomb.
The morning of the third day, some women arrived to complete the burial process and were surprised to see the stone rolled away from the tomb's entrance. Angels appeared telling them Jesus was alive and to tell the other.
Jesus spent time with disciples, fulfilling His promise to never abandon them, for forty days before ascending to heaven.