The Beginning of Jesus' Ministry

Jesus' beginnings on earth were crucial to His later ministry. As familiar as we are with the Christmas story, there are other aspects we'd do well to understand.

Day One: The Year of the Nativity
The Bible does not provide the exact day or even the exact year in which Jesus was born in Bethlehem. But a close examination of the chronological details of history narrows the possibilities to a reasonable window of time...
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For more, see: "What does it mean that God sent Jesus in the 'fullness of time'? Why did God send Jesus when He did?"

Day Two: Bethlehem
The Bible chronicles Jesus Christ's birth in Matthew 1:18–25; 2:1–12; Luke 1:26–38; and 2:1–20. At the time of Mary's pregnancy, a decree by Caesar Augustus went out that “all the world should be registered" (Luke 2:1). This meant that every person in the Roman Territory was required to return to the city of their ancestors to be counted in a census...
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For more, see: "Why is Jesus often referred to as Jesus of Nazareth?"

Day Three: Jesus' Childhood
Other than Luke 2:41-52, the Bible does not tell us anything about Jesus' youth. From this incident we do know certain things about Jesus' childhood. First, He was the son of parents* who were devout in their religious observances. As required by their faith, Joseph and Mary made the yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover...
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For more, see: "Where was Joseph when Jesus was an adult?"

Day Four: Jesus' Siblings
Jesus' brothers are mentioned in several Bible verses. Matthew 12:46, Luke 8:19, and Mark 3:31 say that Jesus' mother and brothers came to see Him. The Bible tells us that Jesus had four brothers: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas...
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Day Five: Jesus the Carpenter
There is every evidence from Scripture that, before He began His ministry, Jesus was employed as a carpenter. His earthly father, Joseph, was also a carpenter, which means that Jesus was likely His father's apprentice...
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Day Six: Jesus the Jew
One needs only to search the internet today to determine that there is great controversy and disagreement over the question of whether Jesus of Nazareth was actually Jewish. Before we can answer this question adequately, we must first ask another question: who (or what) is a Jew?...
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For more, see: "What language did Jesus speak?"

Day Seven: Jesus' Wife
The recent discovery and translation of the fourth-century "Jesus' wife papyrus" has reopened the discussion as to whether Jesus had a wife / was married. The "Jesus' wife papyus" says, "Jesus said to them, 'My wife ...'" This discovery is interesting in that it is the first Gnostic writing to explicitly state that Jesus had a wife...
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For more, see: "Did Jesus have children?"

Image Credit: fancycrave1; Untitled; Creative Commons

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Published 11-9-16