Jesus' life

The events of Jesus’ life are central to the Christian faith and are what many of the Church teachings are built upon. Without Christ being incarnate on Earth, the Christian faith would not exist.

Four key events of Jesus’ life offer proof and evidence of him as God incarnate and fulfil the prophecies of the Old Testament. These four events are:

  • birth
  • crucifixion and death
  • resurrection
  • ascension

Jesus’ birth

Jesus’ birth was announced to Mary by the Angel Gabriel, who agreed to God’s plan and to carry the Son of God. Mary was specifically chosen. Catholics believe that, unlike the rest of humanity, she was born sinless, known as the Immaculate Conception.

quote
The angel said to her, 'Don't be afraid, Mary; God has been gracious to you. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus'.Luke 1:30-31

The gospels state that Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem, as a census had been called and each was to return to their hometown. Due to the census, Bethlehem was full and Mary gave birth to the Son of God and laid him in a manger, which is a feeding trough for animals.

quote
She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger—there was no room for them to stay in the inn.Luke 2:7

Both Matthew and Luke’s Gospels tell of visitors to the newborn. In Matthew’s Gospel, the Magi come to visit the new baby and bring him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh after following a star to find the child. These gifts are a sign of holiness and royalty – they are a sign that the baby is a king.

In Luke’s Gospel, the shepherds come to worship and praise the newborn child. The poor and humble shepherds and the foreign Magi show that Jesus came to serve and save all people from all races and backgrounds.

Question

Describe the Christian beliefs about the birth of Jesus.

Christians believe that Jesus’ birth was unique and special. His mother, Mary, was told by the Angel Gabriel that she was pregnant and that she must call the baby Jesus. Christians believe this was the work of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus was born, it was believed that he was brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, which were a sign that the baby would be a king.