The Life of Jesus: Summary, Chronology and Story Told for Children

The Life of Jesus: From birth to resurrection
The Life of Jesus for students
The Life of Jesus for Children

Jesus Christ was born around 6 BC in Bethlehem. Little is known about his early life, but his life and his work are recorded in the New Testament, which is more a theological document than a biography. According to Christians, Jesus is the incarnation of God and his teachings are followed as an example to live a more spiritual life. Christians believe that he died for the sins of all people and rose from the dead.

Who was Jesus: Life of Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ, also known as Jesus of Nazareth, is a Jewish teacher and reformer of religion who has become the central figure in Christianity. Jesus is a religious leader whose life and teachings are recorded in the New Testament of the Bible.

Christians follow Jesus’ example, accept that his words are true, and worship him as God. He is one of the most famous, recognized and influential people in the history of the world.

The Life of Jesus: Timeline

Virgin Mary is announced that she will give birth to Jesus

(Luke 1: 26-38, Matthew 1: 18-25)

The New Testament books of Matthew and Luke explain the virgin birth of Jesus. Mary was engaged to a man named Joseph, but not yet married. The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced that she would have a son who would be called Jesus and who would be called the Son of God. Here is the NIV translation of Luke 1: 27-35:

“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,  to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.  The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.  But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.  You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,  and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. ” Luke 1: 27-35 (NIV).

Summary of Jesus’ Life from Birth to Resurrection

Summary of Jesus' Life from Birth to Resurrection
Summary of Jesus’ Life from Birth to Resurrection

Jesus was Born in Bethlehem

(Luke 2: 1-7)

Shortly before Jesus was born, the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus decided that a census would be conducted throughout the Roman Empire, including the land of Israel. People were required to return to their ancestral homes to register. For Joseph and Mary, that meant leaving Nazareth, which is a city in the northern district of Galilee, and traveling to Bethlehem, which is in the southern region called Judea or Judah.

Mary and Joseph
Mary and Joseph

After they arrived in Bethlehem, Mary was ready to give birth to Jesus. So Joseph and Mary went to a manger because they could not find another accommodation. It was a manger, where animals are kept, which served as the humble birthplace for Jesus.

Bethlehem is an important city for Messianic prophecy. King David, who ruled Israel about 1,000 years before the time of Jesus, was born in Bethlehem. And the prophet Micah, who lived about 700 years before Jesus, announced that Bethlehem would be the birthplace of the Messiah:

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”  – Micah 5: 2 (NIV translation).

Ephrata is the ancient name of the city of Bethlehem in Judah.

King Herod tries to kill the newborn King (Jesus)

(Matthew 2: 3-12)

The Star of Bethlehem attracted visitors from the east. These visitors believed that the star marked the birth of a new king. Perhaps the visitors were familiar with the prophecies of the Bible and understood that a Messiah King would be born in Israel and that he would have an impact on the entire world.

But Israel already had a ruler, King Herod the Great. He was not a true king, but he had been appointed by the Romans to rule the Jews in the land of Israel. Herod was described by Josephus, a Jewish historian who lived during the first century, as a murderer who ordered the death of many of the members of his own family. When Herod discovered that the visitors expected to find and worship the newborn king, Herod ordered the death of every child in Bethlehem, hoping to kill the king the visitors spoke of.

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Baby Jesus and his parents escape to Egypt

(Matthew 2: 13-15)

An angel warned Joseph of Herod’s plans to murder the little children of Bethlehem. So, Joseph and Mary took the baby Jesus to Egypt and lived there until Herod died.

In ancient times, the people of Israel sometimes sought refuge in Egypt, including Jacob and his children, who left the land of Israel during a time of famine. The Gospel of Matthew shows that many events in Jewish history are similar to events in the life of Jesus, reinforcing his role as Messiah.

Jesus is taken back to Israel, to the city of Nazareth

(Matthew 2: 19-23)

After King Herod’s death, Joseph, Mary, and Jesus returned to the land of Israel. Joseph was afraid to return to Bethlehem because the city is near Jerusalem, where Herod Archelaus, Herod’s son, then reigned as king. So Joseph took his family to the northern district of Galilee, to a small town called Nazareth. This dark town became the hometown of Jesus, where he grew up and became an adult.

Jesus is taken back to Israel, to the city of Nazareth

(Luke 2: 41-52)

When Jesus was 12 years old, he, his mother Mary, and his stepfather Joseph traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the annual festival of Passover. When the party ended, Mary and Joseph separated from Jesus and searched for him. Jesus had gone to the Temple of the Lord and had conversed with the people there. People were surprised by his deep understanding and by his knowledge. When Mary found Jesus in the Temple, Jesus said to her, “Why were you looking for me?”. “Didn’t you know I had to be at my father’s house?” (Luke 2:49).

The Greatest Work of Jesus for Kids

The Greatest Work of Jesus for Kids
The work of Jesus

Jesus returned to Galilee and made trips to neighboring villages. During this time, various people became his disciples. One of them was Mary Magdalene, who is first mentioned in the Gospel of Luke (16: 9) and later in the four Gospels at the crucifixion. Although she is not mentioned in the context of the “12 apostles”, she is considered to have been involved with Jesus from the beginning until his death and after. According to the Gospels of Mark and John, Jesus appeared to Magdalene first after her resurrection.

According to the Gospel of John (2: 1-11), when Jesus was starting his church, he and his disciples traveled with his mother, Mary, to a wedding in Cana, in Galilee. The host of the wedding had run out of wine, and Jesus’ mother came to him for help. At first Jesus refused to intervene, but then he relented and asked a servant to bring him large jugs full of water. He turned the water into a higher quality wine than any other served during the wedding. The Gospel of John describes the event as the first sign of the glory of Jesus and the belief of his disciples in him.

After the wedding, Jesus, his mother Mary, and his disciples traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover. In the temple, they saw money changers and merchants selling goods. In a rare display of anger, Jesus overturned the tables and, with a whip made of ropes, drove them out, declaring that his Father’s house is not a house for merchants.

Jesus cleansing the temple. Father's house is not a house for merchants
Jesus cleansing the temple

Sermon on the Mount for Kids

The Synoptic Gospels tell of Jesus as he traveled through Judea and Galilee, using parables and miracles to explain how prophecies were being fulfilled and that the kingdom of God was nearby. As word of Jesus’ teaching and healing the sick spread, more people began to follow him. At one point, Jesus came to a hill and was joined by a large number of people. There, in the Sermon on the Mount, he delivered several talks, known as the Beatitudes, which contain many of the spiritual teachings of love, humility, and compassion.

Near the city of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus spoke with his disciples. According to the Gospels of Matthew (16:13), Mark (8:27) and Luke (9:18), he asked, “Who do you say that I am?” The question confused them, and only Peter responded, saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus blessed Peter, accepting the titles of “Christ” and the “Son of God,” and declared that the proclamation was a divine revelation from God. Jesus then proclaimed Peter as the leader of the church. Jesus then warned his disciples of the Pharisees’ conspiracy against him and of his fate to suffer and be killed, only to rise from the dead on the third day.

Jesus arrived in Jerusalem the week before the Passover feast, riding on a donkey. A large number of people took palm branches and greeted him at the entrance to the city. They praised him as the Son of David and as the Son of God. The priests and Pharisees, fearful of growing public adulation, felt that he must be stopped.

The Last Supper Story. The Last Supper children’s lesson

Jesus and his 12 disciples met for the Passover meal, and he gave them his last words of faith. He also predicted his betrayal by one of his disciples and privately let Judas know it was him. Jesus told Peter that before crowing the rooster the next morning, he would have denied knowing Jesus three times. At the end of the meal, Jesus instituted the Eucharist, which in the Christian religion means the covenant between God and humans.

Why is the Last Supper important?

After the Last Supper, Jesus and his disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Jesus asked God if this cup (his suffering and death) could be taken away from him but he didn’t want his will to be done, but The Father’s. He implored a group of his disciples to pray with him, but they fell asleep. Then the time had come. Soldiers and officers appeared, and Judas was with them. Judas is said to have gone to the chief priests and agreed to hand over Jesus in exchange for 30 silver coins. He gave Jesus a kiss on the cheek to identify him and the soldiers arrested Jesus. A disciple tried to resist arrest, brandishing his sword and cutting off the ear of one of the soldiers. But Jesus admonished him and healed the soldier’s wound.

What is the Message of the Last Supper for kids
The Last Supper for Kids

What is the Message of the Last Supper?

After his arrest, many of the disciples went into hiding. Jesus was taken to the high priest and questioned. He was beaten and spat on for not responding. Meanwhile, Peter had followed Jesus to the court of the high priests. While he was hiding in the shadows, three house servants asked him if he was one of Jesus’ disciples and each time, he denied it. After each denial, a rooster crowed. Then they took Jesus out of the house and looked directly at Peter. Peter remembered how Jesus had told him that he would deny it and he wept bitterly. Judas, who was watching from a distance, was distraught over his betrayal of Jesus and attempted to return the 30 pieces of silver. The priests told him that his guilt was his. He threw the coins into the temple and then hanged himself.

Jesus Crucifixion and Resurrection Summary. The Crucifixion

The next day, Jesus was taken to the supreme court, where he was mocked, beaten, and condemned for claiming to be the Son of God. He was brought before Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. The priests accused Jesus of claiming to be the king of the Jews and asked that he be put to death. At first Pilate tried to pass Jesus to King Herod, but he was brought back, and Pilate told the Jewish priests that he couldn’t find any wrong with Jesus. The priests reminded him that anyone claiming to be a king speaks against Caesar. Pilate publicly washed his hands of responsibility, but ordered the crucifixion in response to the demands of the crowd. Roman soldiers whipped and beat Jesus, placed a crown of thorns on his head, and carried him to Mount Calvary.

Jesus Crucifixion and Resurrection
Jesus Crucifixion and Resurrection

Jesus was crucified with two thieves, one on his left and the other on his right. Above his head was the accusation, “King of the Jews.” At his feet were his mother, Mary and Mary Magdalene. The Gospels describe various events that occurred during the last three hours of his life, including the taunts of the soldiers and crowds, the agony and outbursts of Jesus, and his last words. While Jesus was on the cross, the sky darkened, and immediately after his death, an earthquake broke out, ripping the curtain of the temple from top to bottom. A soldier confirmed his death by sticking a spear in his side, which only produced water. They took him down from the cross and buried him in a nearby grave.

Risen from the Dead: Jesus Resurrection

Three days after his death, the tomb of Jesus was found empty. He had risen from the dead and appeared first to Mary Magdalene and then to her mother Mary hers. They both informed the disciples that they were in hiding, and later, Jesus appeared to them and told them not to be afraid. During this brief time, he pleaded with his disciples to go into the world and preach the gospel to all mankind. After 40 days, Jesus led his disciples to the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. Jesus spoke to them for the last time, saying that they would receive the power of the Holy Spirit, before being carried up in a cloud and ascended to heaven.

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