20 Key Facts About Jesus and His Life That Every Christian Should Know

Jesus and His life are among the most important foundations of the Christian faith, teachings, and understanding. From Jesus’s birth in Bethlehem to His childhood in Nazareth and His teachings, miracles, and sacrifice, His life holds significance and influence in various countries and belief systems worldwide. If you’re curious about some key facts and details about the pillars of the Christian faith, read on!

Jesus Is Both the Messenger and the Message of God

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As we’ve all come to know, Jesus is the divine Messenger of God who was sent to Earth to save us from our sins. Many Bible verses could attest to this, but one of the clearest would be John 12:49-50, which reads, “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command: what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life; therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.” However, aside from being His Messenger, He is also the message itself, and as John 1:1 and 14 reads, “In the beginning, the Word already existed: the Word was with God, and the Word was God; the Word became human and lived among us: we saw his glory—it was the glory that the Father shares with his only Son, a glory full of kindness, grace, and truth.”

Mary Named Jesus With the Help of an Angel

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The common practice throughout the history of the world is for a child’s parents to name their child; in some cultures, an elder would decide for them. However, in Mary’s case, it was different: it was an angel who gave her the instructions to name her Child “Jesus.” BBC summarized what happened in Luke 1:26-38 and says, “God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth with a message for Mary, who was promised in marriage to Joseph. The angel told Mary that she would have a son, whom she was to name Jesus; the angel said, ‘He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God.’”

Jesus Wasn’t a Unique Name

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Many would think that the Son of God would have the most unique name of all to help others distinguish Him from the rest. However, this is not true. “Jesus” was actually a very common name during His time. Slate explains, “Christ’s given name, commonly romanized as Yeshua, was quite common in first-century Galilee.”

Jesus Was of Jewish Descent

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Scholars would argue that Jesus couldn’t have been Jewish because Judaism refutes the very core of His teachings and Christianity. However, though He might not have been Jewish in the sense that He practiced this religion, Jesus is a Jew—a Hebrew—through his family. Mary was a Jew, and He was born in Galilee, which was a Jewish part of the world during His time. The University of Dayton adds, “The Holy Family lived in Nazareth—not much is said about their family life, but we know that Jesus and Mary were both under the care of Joseph and, most likely, lived a normal Jewish family life.”

Jesus Had Several Half-Siblings

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In most, if not all, movies or documentaries about Jesus and His life, there has never been an in-depth discussion of his immediate family and their family dynamics. Because of this, many people assume Jesus was Mary and Joseph’s only child, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth! Jesus had at least four brothers—James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon—and at least two sisters. This could be explained through Matthew 13:55-56, which reads, “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t His mother’s name Mary, and aren’t His brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Aren’t all His sisters with us? Where, then, did this man get all these things?”

Jesus’s Family Line Was Probably Wealthy

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Joseph lived as a carpenter, and several accounts show us that Jesus lived an ordinary Jewish life—some would even argue that His immediate family was poor or near poverty. However, nothing in the Bible would say that Joseph and Mary were poor; in fact, they were both from King David’s lineage. Brown Bible explains, “Being in the royal line does not necessarily indicate that they were wealthy, but there was a better chance of it than being poor. Jesus was certainly not raised in poverty; at the very least, the family was well set as of the arrival of the wise men from the East.”

We Don’t Know Jesus’s Exact Birthday

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If you asked a random person on the street when Jesus’s birthday is, they’d most likely tell you it’s December 25—Christmas! However, no one knows for sure when His exact birthday is. In fact, Christmas is a holiday deeply rooted in pagan beliefs and practices. December 25 is an important date in pagan religions: it’s the date for the Persian god Mithra’s birthday and also the date for the Roman Saturnalia.

Jesus’s Birth Was Marked by the Star of Bethlehem

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As the stories go, the Three Wise Men or the Three Kings were guided to Bethlehem where Jesus was born by the Star of Bethlehem. However, scholars, particularly astronomers, want an explanation as to what kind of bright light could remain constant in the sky to guide foreigners to a foreign land. One theory is that the Three Wise Men were actually astrologers who made a reading about the alignment of the planets and stars during that time. One that is more backed by science, however, is the theory that Jupiter, Saturn, the Moon, and the Sun were aligned on April 17, 6 BC.

The Three Kings or Three Wise Men Were Present During Jesus’s Birth

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It’s been said that the Three Wise Men or the Three Kings were foreigners present during Jesus’s birth. These three men were Melchior, who came from Persia; Gaspar, who came from India; and Balthazar, who came from Arabia. However, many argue that their presence during Jesus’s birth was not feasible; Persia, after all, is 1,200 miles from Bethlehem, and it would have taken around 2 months of travel to reach one point to the next. Imagine how long it would have been for Gaspar, who came all the way from India!

Jesus Was Born in a Manger

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Another aspect of Jesus’s life that contributed to thinking Jesus’s family was poor was that He was born in a manger or a stable. However, the fact is that Mary and Joseph didn’t choose to give birth to Jesus in a manger because they didn’t have money. Aside from the fact that His birth was already prophesied, the two didn’t have an option while traveling in the desert. It wasn’t like they could make inn reservations in advance during that time!

No One Knows What Jesus Actually Looks Like

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Jesus was commonly depicted throughout the ages as having a beard, fair skin, long, wavy blond hair, and blue eyes, especially in the West. However, it’s worth noting that the Bible doesn’t describe Jesus—at least physically. The only thing it did say was that Jesus was ordinary and didn’t stand out in any specific way. Additionally, others believe that Revelation 1:14-15 is the closest clue we have to how Jesus actually looked like; it goes, “The hair of His head was as white as white wool or as snow, and His eyes were like a fiery flame; His feet were like polished brass refined in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of rushing water.”

Jesus’s Purple Robes Were a Form of Mockery

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When Jesus was tried, the soldiers mocked Him by making Him wear a purple robe. At that time, purple was the color of kings, and because He claimed to be the king of the Jews, He was draped with purple robes as a form of mockery. However, though the public saw this as a form of degradation during that time, this act also revealed a truth: that Jesus is “the King of kings and the Lord of lords,” as said in 1 Timothy 6:15 and Revelation 19:16.

Jesus Ate Meat and Dairy

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Some circles and scholars believe that Jesus and the early Christians were vegetarians. In fact, they say that James the Just, Jesus’s half-brother, didn’t drink wine or meat, and because Jesus grew up in the same household, He most likely was a vegetarian, too. PETA LAMBS says, “James was universally acknowledged to be a strict vegetarian and, in fact, was raised as a vegetarian.” Many would argue otherwise, though, as numerous events in the Bible—such as the Passover and the miracle of the fish and the bread—suggest that Jesus ate meat and dairy.

Jesus Grew up in Nazareth—a Town Notorious for Bad Things

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Though He was born in Bethlehem, Jesus grew up in Nazareth, Galilee; for those who don’t know, it was an isolated town of a thousand or more middle-upper peasant families. Nazareth also had a bad reputation—it was notorious for its wickedness, wildness, and roughness, characterized by political unrest, tax revolts, and banditry. Because of this, it was such a surprise that something or someone as good as the Son of God would come here. John 1:46 even goes, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?”

Jesus Was Mentioned in Historical—Not Just Biblical—Sources

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Many non-believers can’t grasp the fact that Jesus existed since most think the only references we have about Him are from the Bible. However, numerous historical sources also mention His existence. Greek authors and satirists, Roman historians, and other early Christian writers also discussed Jesus and His teachings in their works.

Jesus Was a Mason, Not a Carpenter

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Because Joseph lived as a carpenter, it’s easy to assume that Jesus was also a carpenter. However, in Greek, Jesus’s work was called “tekton,” which doesn’t mean “carpenter.” It translates to “mason,” so Jesus was probably a stonemason. He was believed to use chisels, compasses, hammers, and more.

Jesus Had a Very Short Public Ministry Career

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Contrary to popular belief, Jesus’s work as a public minister was very short. Yes, He started being known when He was younger, particularly when He preached in the temple when He was only 12. However, Jesus only actually began His ministry when He was 30. He then died 3 years later, when He was 33!

Jesus Never Mentioned Anything About Homosexuality

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Traditionalists have been labeling homosexuals or those part of the LGBTQ community as sinners, saying they are going against the teachings of God and Jesus. However, in truth, Jesus never really said anything about homosexuality per se. Biblical accounts that refer to homosexuality as a sin were mostly mentioned in the Old Testament—and some still argue that those shouldn’t be taken literally as well.

Jesus Is Believed to Have Had a Partner

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One of the most controversial works in fiction is Dn Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, which claims that Jesus, in fact, had a partner and a child. There are people who believe that Mary Magdalene, a woman who supposedly traveled with Jesus as one of His followers, was actually His wife. However, no matter how many people claim this to be true, no Bible verse says it in detail. The closest evidence we have to this is in the Gnostic Gospel of Philip 63:33-36, which reads, “The wisdom which humans call barren is herself the Mother of the Angels, and the companion of the Christ is Mariam the Magdalene; the Lord loved Mariam more than all the other disciples, and He kissed her often on her mouth.”

There Are Islamic Beliefs and Scripture About Jesus

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Those who have yet to study enough about the different religions could easily make the mistake of thinking that Jesus only exists in Christianity. However, Jesus is also a crucial aspect of Islamic teachings. The only difference is that in Christianity, Jesus is believed to be a divine being—the Son of God. In Islam, Jesus was a human tasked by Allah to guide his people.

Read More: 18 Things People Regret the Most When They’re Old and Dying

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As people near the end of their lives, they commonly reflect on what they’ve done or didn’t do and what they could have done better. Regrets often plague us in the last moments of our lives, but they’re completely avoidable. If you want to ensure you live a full life without any regrets, learn from the top 18 regrets of the old and dying that we have on this list!

18 Things People Regret the Most When They’re Old and Dying

20 Things You Should Say Goodbye to the Moment You Reach Age 50

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Reaching age 50 marks a significant milestone in life. As you embark on this new chapter, it’s important to say goodbye to certain things or habits that no longer benefit you in this current chapter. At this point, you must learn to let go of unrealistic expectations and detrimental vices. Read on and find the top 20 things you need to avoid when you’re in your 50s so you can live a full, meaningful, and happy life!

20 Things You Should Say Goodbye to the Moment You Reach Age 50

20 Common Christian Practices That Go Against the Bible’s Teachings

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The Bible’s teachings are classic and timeless, yet many Christian practices have veered away from its core principles over time. Today, we’re exploring 20 prevalent Christian practices that stand in contrast to the Scripture and the Bible. Understanding them will give us a deeper and more thorough understanding of how certain traditions may diverge from Christianity’s foundational beliefs. Read on and find some things you might need to reflect on!

20 Common Christian Practices That Go Against the Bible’s Teachings

17 Reasons Companies Aren’t Hiring Anyone Who’s 50 and Over

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Many laws and policies highlight how wrong it is for companies or businesses to discriminate against others solely because of age. Even so, they try to find loopholes in the hiring process so that they can forgo hiring people over 50 and instead prioritize those from the younger generations. However, aside from being unfair, companies overlook valuable resources that could contribute one-of-a-kind experiences and skills that could set them up for success!

17 Reasons Companies Aren’t Hiring Anyone Who’s 50 and Over

17 Things Christians Do That Absolutely Bother and Annoy All the Non-Christians

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Sadly, some Christians might not realize that their behavior is offending non-Christians. Their hypocritical and judgmental behaviors can be off-putting, pushing others to get annoyed and irritated with them. So, if you’re a Christian who wants to improve how others perceive your institution as a whole, read through to the end of this list to identify some key behaviors or habits you need to avoid!

17 Things Christians Do That Absolutely Bother and Annoy All the Non-Christians

Author: Karen Danao

Bio:

Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

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