The Comforter -by Greg Olsen

Jesus , also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity.Most historians agree that he was a Jew from a place called Judea, in the country that is today called Palestine. They also agree that he was thought of as a teacher and a healer, and that he was baptized by John the Baptist. He was crucified in Jerusalem on the orders of Pontius Pilate.

Stories about the life of Jesus have been recorded by different writers. The best known are four books called gospels.

Stories about the life of Jesus have been recorded by different writers. The best known are four books called gospels. They form the beginning of the New Testament, a part of the Bible. Gospel means “good news”. They tell a little about his birth, and mostly about his adult life: his teachings, ministry, death, and a reported resurrection (return from death). The four Gospels are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


From the Holy Bible, the Living Word of God

“A virgin will have a baby boy, and he will be called Immanuel,” which means “God is with us.” Matthew 1:23 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them!

God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them! No one who has faith in God’s Son will be condemned. But everyone who doesn’t have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God’s only Son. John 3:16-18 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

 

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Story of the Birth of Jesus and His Early Years

Before the birth of Jesus


 The Birth of Jesus Foretold to Mary

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.”

Mother Mary and Angel -artist unknown
Mother Mary and Angel -artist unknown

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.

 

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Baptism of Jesus -artist unknown
Baptism of Jesus -artist unknown

Ministry of Jesus

Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli,… Luke 3:23 New International Version (NIV)


The Baptism of Jesus

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:13-17 New International Version (NIV)


Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Disciples

Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

 

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Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Jesus heals a lame man- artist unknown
Jesus heals a lame man- artist unknown

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” Mark 2:1-12 New International Version (NIV)

 

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Sermon on the Mount- artist unknown
Sermon on the Mount- artist unknown

Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. John 7:16-18 New International Version (NIV)

 

Teachings of Jesus- In Relation to God

Love God with All of Your Heart


“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40 New International Version (NIV

“…Be My Follower.”


Jesus replied, “If you want to be perfect, go sell everything you own! Give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come and be my follower.” Matthew 19:21 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

 

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Sermon on the Mount- artist unknown

These are only some of the Parables of Jesus

Bible scholar Madeline Boucher writes:
The importance of the parables can hardly be overestimated. They comprise a substantial part of the recorded preaching of Jesus. The parables are generally regarded by scholars as among the sayings which we can confidently ascribe to the historical Jesus; they are, for the most part, authentic words of Jesus. Moreover, all of the great themes of Jesus’ preaching are struck in the parables. (Boucher, p.9)


Why Jesus Used Stories

When Jesus was alone with the twelve apostles and some others, they asked him about these stories. He answered: “I have

Jesus is Light- artist unknown
Jesus is Light- artist unknown

explained the secret about God’s kingdom to you, but for others I can use only stories. The reason is, These people will look and look, but never see. They will listen and listen, but never understand. If they did, they would turn to God, and he would forgive them.” Mark 4:10-12 Contemporary English Version (CEV)


The Story of the Farmer

Then he taught them many things by using stories. He said:

The Sower- Halverson
The Sower- Halverson

A farmer went out to scatter seed in a field. While the farmer was scattering the seed, some of it fell along the road and was eaten by birds. Other seeds fell on thin, rocky ground and quickly started growing because the soil wasn’t very deep. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched and dried up, because they did not have enough roots. Some other seeds fell where thornbushes grew up and choked the plants. But a few seeds did fall on good ground where the plants produced a hundred or sixty or thirty times as much as was scattered. If you have ears, pay attention! Matthew 13:3-9 Contemporary English Version (CEV)


Jesus Explains the Story about the Farmer

Now listen to the meaning of the story about the farmer:
The seeds that fell along the road are the people who hear the message about the kingdom, but don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches the message from their hearts. The seeds that fell on rocky ground are the people who gladly hear the message and accept it right away. But they don’t have deep roots, and they don’t last very long. As soon as life gets hard or the message gets them in trouble, they give up.

 

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Betrayal of Jesus by Simon Peter and Judas Iscariot


Judas Kiss
Judas Kiss

Judas Iscariot  was one of the twelve original disciples of Jesus  the Christ, and the son of Simon Iscariot. He is not always looked upon in a good light because of his involvement with the chief Sanhedrin priests and is notoriously known for his kiss and betrayal of Jesus to their hands, in exchange for a payment of thirty silver coins. His name is often invoked to accuse someone of betrayal. Though there are varied accounts of his death, the traditional version sees him as having hanged himself out of remorse following his betrayal. His place among the Twelve Apostles was later filled by Matthias. Tradition holds that he was the first apostle to die, and that he and John were the only apostles not to die a martyr’s death.

Despite his notorious role in the Gospel narratives, Judas is still somewhat of an ambivalent figure in Christian history. Judas’ betrayal, for instance, set in motion the events that led to Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection, which, according to traditional Christian theology, brought salvation to humanity. Gnostic texts actually praise Judas for his role in triggering humanity’s alleged salvation, and view Judas as the best of the apostles. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia*


Judas Sells Jesus Out | A plot to kill is formed with the chief priests

Judas Receiving Silver Coins
Judas Receiving Silver Coins

The Festival of Thin Bread, also called Passover, was near. The chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses were looking for a way to get rid of Jesus, because they were afraid of what the people might do. Then Satan entered the heart of Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve apostles.

 

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Luke 23 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Pilate Questions Jesus

Everyone in the council got up and led Jesus off to Pilate. They started accusing him and said, “We caught this man trying to get our people to riot and to stop paying taxes to the Emperor. He also claims that he is the Messiah, our king.”

Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“Those are your words,” Jesus answered.

Pilate told the chief priests and the crowd, “I don’t find him guilty of anything.”

But they all kept on saying, “He has been teaching and causing trouble all over Judea. He started in Galilee and has now come all the way here.”


Jesus Is Brought before Herod

When Pilate heard this, he asked, “Is this man from Galilee?” After Pilate learned that Jesus came from the region ruled by Herod, he sent him to Herod, who was in Jerusalem at that time.

 

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Near the End

 Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

Jesus Washing the Feet of the Apostles- by Del Parson
Jesus Washing the Feet of the Apostles- Del Parson

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:1-17 New International Version (NIV)


The Last Supper

On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

 

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