Jesus

Jesus’ life and ministry

What do Christians believe about Jesus' life and ministry?

JESUS-WHAT SAY:DO

Jesus’ family

Perhaps one of the most famous stories about Jesus is his birth:

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.”

… 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.” (Luke 1:26-35)

Mary and Joseph did marry and during the time the couple were in Bethlehem for the Roman census Mary gave birth to Jesus.

For most of his life Jesus lived in Nazareth, a small town in northern Israel where it is believed he trained as a tradesman alongside Joseph. Traditionally it is thought that Joseph was a carpenter. The Bible also tells us that Jesus had brothers and sisters:

‘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?’ (Matthew 13:55-56)

Jesus’ Ministry

When he was 30, Jesus was baptised by John in the River Jordan and started his ministry – teaching people about God and performing miracles. He did this for three years. During this time Jesus did not have a fixed home but travelled around from place to place.

As a Jewish rabbi (religious teacher), Jesus had disciples. The most famous were the 12 young men who followed Jesus and shared every part of his life. The Bible also talks about a larger group of followers who he trained to do God’s work, and even mentions some women disciples.

They were not the only people interested in Jesus. Crowds of people would follow him to hear what he had to say and watch the miracles he performed. But not everyone liked Jesus. Some members of the local religious communities were angry that Jesus criticised them for being hypocrites (people who tell people what to do but don’t do it themselves.)

Jesus’ death and resurrection 

Christians believed that Jesus was sentenced to death and faced the Roman death penalty of death by crucifixion. However they believe that this was not the end of the story as the Bible tells of how three days later Jesus came back to life again, appearing to hundreds of people and even sharing a meal with his disciples.

Click here to find out more about the story of Jesus.

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The Bible is divided into two sections: the Old Testament and the New Testament. The word ‘testament’ comes from a Latin word meaning ‘covenant’ or ‘promise.’ The promises that are made between God and people are the threads that run through the entire Bible. It is […]

Bible Translations

Why has the Bible been translated into many languages?

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BIBLE-INTRO-book

Bible Translations

Why has the Bible been translated into many languages?

  • Bible
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At the end of Jesus’ time on earth he gave his disciples a job to do. This job has become known as the ‘Great Commission’ and throughout history the Christian church has believed that every new generation should also take on the same task: ‘Therefore […]

Reflecting on the Bible

What can the Bible teach us?

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Reflecting on the Bible

What can the Bible teach us?

  • Bible
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Christians believe that all parts of the Bible are useful for learning about God. Take a look at some of these different kinds of writing. As you read them, think about these questions: What is God like? How might this passage comfort people reading it? […]

Mary

What was her part in the Christmas story?

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Mary

Mary

What was her part in the Christmas story?

  • Festivals
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Mary was a girl in her teens, engaged to be married to a man she loved called Joseph. One night, she was visited by an angel who gave her a unique task – a part to play in saving the world. Watch this film to […]

History of the Early Church

How did the Church begin?

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History of the Early Church

How did the Church begin?

  • People
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The early Christian Church began in Jerusalem and the surrounding area and grew out of the Jewish tradition. Jesus and his disciples were all Jews. The first Christians therefore did not meet in separate churches but continued to meet in the local Jewish synagogues. St […]

Miracles

Did they really happen?

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Miracles

Did they really happen?

  • Bible
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Whether miracles really happened or not is, for Christians, a case of faith and trust in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and in the Bible as ‘God’s word’. The miracles are important to the whole Bible story. They are there to […]

An Introduction to Miracles in the New Testament

What do the miracles teach us about what Christians believe is possible?

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Damascus

An Introduction to Miracles in the New Testament

What do the miracles teach us about what Christians believe is possible?

  • Bible
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Miracles in the gospels The New Testament Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, describe 35 occasions when Jesus performed miracles and tell us that there were also many more than these. As John writes at the end of his gospel, ‘Jesus did many other things […]

Old Testament miracles

Did miracles really happen in the Old Testament?

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Old Testament miracles

Did miracles really happen in the Old Testament?

  • Bible
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When people talk about miracles in the Bible, they might automatically think about Jesus. But the Bible is full of miracles performed by other people sent by God, throughout both the Old and the New Testaments. These stories of miracles were written to help God’s people […]

Miracles

What is a miracle?

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Patricia Miracles

Miracles

What is a miracle?

  • Bible
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The dictionary states that a miracle is: ‘A surprising or welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agent.’ Do miracles still happen today? What does the Bible say about miracles? […]

Bible evidence

How can one book written by so many people be reliable?

  • Bible
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Bible evidence

How can one book written by so many people be reliable?

  • Bible
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The Bible was written over many hundreds of years. There were many authors, from kings to prophets to ordinary working people. Some are books of collected wise sayings, others poetry and others collections of eye witness accounts of important events. It is not surprising that […]

Is the Bible reliable?

Can it be trusted?

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BIBLE-INTRO-tablet

Is the Bible reliable?

Can it be trusted?

  • Bible
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The question of whether or not the Bible is reliable is a fairly important one. Christians say it is God’s word given to humankind for all time. They base their lives on its stories and teaching. If the Bible is reliable it adds weight to […]

Bible evidence

Is the Bible historically accurate?

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Bible evidence

Is the Bible historically accurate?

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One of the biggest questions about the Bible is simply: is it true? This article looks at some of the historical evidence for the Bible’s reliability. “Not only is there the evidence of changed lives that makes the Bible believable but archaeology and other historical […]

George Jeffreys

How did the Elim Pentecostal Church begin?

  • People
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George Jeffreys

How did the Elim Pentecostal Church begin?

  • People
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The Elim Pentecostal Church is a growing movement of more than 550 Christian congregations in the UK and Ireland. Elim was founded in 1915 by George Jeffreys: a young Christian from Maesteg in South Wales. George and a group of friends, known as the Elim Evangelistic Band, preached, started […]

Prejudice and the Bible

Is the Bible racist?

  • Issues
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ISSUES-PREJUDICE-RACISM

Prejudice and the Bible

Is the Bible racist?

  • Issues
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Jesus was a victim of both religious and racial discrimination. Israel was under occupation by the Roman Empire, causing tension and animosity on both sides. There was hatred between the Jews and their neighbours of mixed race, the Samaritans (i.e. people from a region called […]

Good Friday

What do Christians remember on Good Friday?

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Good Friday

What do Christians remember on Good Friday?

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Good Friday is the Friday of Holy Week, the Friday before Easter Day. It is thought that the name Good Friday is an altered form of God’s Friday. But many people say that ‘Good’ Friday is an appropriate name: on this special day, God showed […]

Good Friday

How do Christians remember Jesus' death on Good Friday?

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Good Friday Walk of Witnesses

Good Friday

How do Christians remember Jesus' death on Good Friday?

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Good Friday is both a time of sadness and a time of thankfulness. Sadness as Christians remember the suffering that Jesus endured but thankfulness as they think about how he suffered and died as a sign of God’s love for all people. Some Christians will […]

Pentecost

What do Christians celebrate at Pentecost?

  • Festivals
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Pentecost

What do Christians celebrate at Pentecost?

  • Festivals
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Before Jesus returned back to heaven he set out for the disciples the work he now expected them to do: ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name […]

Sayings of Jesus

How much of what Jesus said do you know?

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Sayings of Jesus

How much of what Jesus said do you know?

  • Jesus
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What did Jesus say while He was here on earth? Test your knowledge of what Jesus said about a range of different subjects…

Resurrection evidence

What happened to Jesus' body?

  • Jesus
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Resurrection evidence

What happened to Jesus' body?

  • Jesus
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After Jesus was crucified, his body was placed in a cave and a large rock was rolled in front of the entrance. Roman guards were ordered to stand and keep watch over it to ensure that the body wasn’t stolen. However, after three days, Christians […]

Parables: The Unforgiving Servant

What did Jesus teach about the importance of forgiving?

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Parables: The Unforgiving Servant

What did Jesus teach about the importance of forgiving?

  • Jesus
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Jesus taught people using stories called ‘Parables’. The Unforgiving Servant is a parable about forgiveness. Watch the film here and think for yourself: Are there things that you would forgive and things that you wouldn’t forgive? Should we forgive other people? When you do things […]

Advent

How do Christians prepare for Christmas?

  • Festivals
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Advent Ring

Advent

How do Christians prepare for Christmas?

  • Festivals
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The Christmas season begins four Sundays before Christmas Day with Advent. Advent means ‘coming’. Christians prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth as a baby in the weeks that lead up to Christmas. They also remember that he will return as king and judge. Many Advent customs […]

Life after death

What do Christians believe happens next?

  • Life
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Life after death

What do Christians believe happens next?

  • Life
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Whatever people believe about life after death, a funeral can help them to cope with the loss of someone they love. Surrounded by family and friends, they can share happy memories and comfort each other. For Christians, funerals give an opportunity to gain encouragement and […]

Jesus is baptised

What happened at Jesus' baptism?

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Jesus is baptised

What happened at Jesus' baptism?

  • Jesus
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Baptism was already popular in the time of Jesus. It demonstrated a person’s commitment to living God’s way rather than their own. Jesus had a cousin called John who baptised people. He was known as John the Baptist. John was a preacher. He told people […]

Jesus’ Teaching: Prayer

What did Jesus teach about prayer?

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Jesus’ Teaching: Prayer

What did Jesus teach about prayer?

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Prayer is important for Christians, as they believe it is one of the main ways through which our relationship with God can grow deeper. Just as we grow closer to our friends when we spend time with them, so Christians believe that in spending time […]

Jesus’ Teaching: Faith

What did Jesus teach about having faith?

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JESUS-TEACHING-FAITH

Jesus’ Teaching: Faith

What did Jesus teach about having faith?

  • Jesus
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The dictionary states that the definition of faith is complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Jesus had absolute faith in God the Father and encourages people to have the same faith. One day Jesus’ disciples asked him to increase their faith but he […]

LIFE-WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN

What is a Christian?

  • Life
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Perhaps the clue to what a Christian is can be found in the name. The word ‘Christian’ is actually a nickname – it literally means ‘little Christ’. It was a nickname given to men and women in the first century who went about talking about […]

Timeline of Jesus’ Life

What do the Gospels tell us?

  • Jesus
  • Timeline
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Timeline of Jesus’ Life

What do the Gospels tell us?

  • Jesus
  • Timeline

What do we know about Jesus? How do we know about his life and work? What are the key features of Jesus’ life?

Jesus and the Christian faith

Why do Christians worship him?

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JESUS-IMPORTANT-WAYTRUTHLIFE

Jesus and the Christian faith

Why do Christians worship him?

  • Jesus
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Jesus spent 3 years meeting and teaching people. When he died he left a devoted group of a few hundred followers. Today, 2 billion people worldwide call themselves Christians. What makes Jesus so central to Christians’ lives today? For many, he is seen in the […]

Jesus today

Why do people choose to follow Jesus in the 21st century?

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Jesus today

Why do people choose to follow Jesus in the 21st century?

  • Jesus
  • Video gallery

It’s easy to think of Jesus as somebody who lives in history books. But Jesus is really important to Christians– not just as somebody who said and did amazing things 2000 years ago but as somebody who is a friend to them today. Most Christians […]

The Resurrection

What do Christians believe happened on Easter Sunday?

  • Festivals
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The Resurrection

What do Christians believe happened on Easter Sunday?

  • Festivals
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What happened on Good Friday is important to Christians. But Jesus’ death on Good Friday isn’t the end of the story. Christians believe that Jesus did not stay dead, but came back to life three days later on Easter Sunday. This is known as the […]

Sin – what is it?

What do Christians mean by the word 'sin'?

  • Jesus
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Sin – what is it?

What do Christians mean by the word 'sin'?

  • Jesus
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Christians often talk about Jesus’ death as a way of bringing forgiveness for sin. But what is sin? Play the game and then read the explanation below. To play the game: The aim of the game is to fire a cannon ball from one side […]

Jesus’ death

What do Christians believe about why Jesus died?

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Jesus’ death

What do Christians believe about why Jesus died?

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Jesus died by being crucified. ‘Crucifixion’ means nailed to a cross. The cross was then lifted up outside the city walls (in Jesus’ case, Jerusalem) so everybody could see it. The people on the cross were then left to die in the hot sun. It […]

The Easter Story: Doubtless

Is the idea that Jesus came back to life too much to believe?

  • Festivals
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The Easter Story: Doubtless

Is the idea that Jesus came back to life too much to believe?

  • Festivals
  • Video

Would you believe that a dead person could come back to life? It would be understandable to doubt it. One of Jesus’ disciples, Thomas, has gone down in history as the one who doubted the reports of Jesus’ resurrection. This film is based on that […]

The Easter Story: Talk of the morning

What happened on the first Easter Sunday?

  • Festivals
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The Easter Story: Talk of the morning

What happened on the first Easter Sunday?

  • Festivals
  • Video

The gospels say that Jesus didn’t stay dead. Lots of witnesses saw Jesus die on a cross on Friday – but by the Sunday there were rumours that the tomb was empty and that he had appeared to some of his followers – Mary Magdalene […]

The Easter Story: The Centurion’s story

What happened when Jesus was on the cross?

  • Festivals
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Salvation

The Easter Story: The Centurion’s story

What happened when Jesus was on the cross?

  • Festivals
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The Bible says that Jesus died by being crucified by the Romans – that is, being nailed to a cross and left to die. The gospels quote a Roman soldier who watched Jesus die as saying ‘Surely this man was the Son of God.’ This […]

The Easter Story: Undeniable

What happened to Jesus' disciples after he was arrested?

  • Festivals
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The Easter Story: Undeniable

What happened to Jesus' disciples after he was arrested?

  • Festivals
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On the night before Jesus died – the night of his arrest – Jesus’ disciples ran away, scared for their lives. Peter was one of Jesus’ closest friends, but even he let Jesus down. During the Last Supper, which happened only hours before his arrest, […]

Jesus’ miracles: Turning water into wine

How did Jesus liven up a wedding party?

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Jesus’ miracles: Turning water into wine

How did Jesus liven up a wedding party?

  • Jesus
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According to the Gospel of John, this was the very first miracle – or ‘sign’ as John calls them – which Jesus did. Jesus, his mother and his disciples were all guests at a wedding in Cana, in Galilee. At the reception, the wine runs […]

Jesus’ miracles: Power over nature

What did Jesus do in the middle of a raging storm?

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Jesus’ miracles: Power over nature

What did Jesus do in the middle of a raging storm?

  • Jesus
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The Gospel writers were keen to show that Jesus had power over nature. One time Jesus and the disciples were in a boat on the Lake of Galilee late one night. A storm began. It was so strong that the boat they were in was […]

Jesus’ miracles: Raising the dead

What did Jesus do in the face of death?

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JESUS-MIRACLE-JARIUS

Jesus’ miracles: Raising the dead

What did Jesus do in the face of death?

  • Jesus
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The gospels include stories of Jesus bringing people back to life.  Two of these are the raising of Jairus’ daughter and of his friend Lazarus. The story of Jairus’ daughter begins when Jesus is met by a large crowd on the side of Lake Galilee. […]

Jesus’ miracles: Casting out demons

What happened when Jesus met a man named Legion?

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JESUS-MIRACLES-DEMONS

Jesus’ miracles: Casting out demons

What happened when Jesus met a man named Legion?

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Jesus was known in his day as someone who could cast out demons: evil spirits that would possess people and alter their behaviour. According to Matthew’s gospel, Jesus was brought many people who were demon- possessed and was able to cure them all. He was […]

Jesus’ miracles: Healings

What happened when Jesus met people who were unwell?

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Jesus’ miracles: Healings

What happened when Jesus met people who were unwell?

  • Jesus
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The stories about Jesus tell us that he healed many different people with all kinds of problems. The blind, the deaf, those who could not speak and those with diseases all found healing by Jesus’ touch or his command. But Jesus is also seen to […]

Jesus’ miracles: the feeding of the 5,000

How did Jesus treat people who were hungry?

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Jesus’ miracles: the feeding of the 5,000

How did Jesus treat people who were hungry?

  • Jesus
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Miracles are often seen as signs by the Gospel writers to explain what sort of God Christians believe in and how Jesus his Son shows that. This story shows that Jesus can supply the basic needs we have – in John’s version of the story, […]

Jesus’ miracles: Jairus’ daughter

Jesus brings a girl back to life

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Jesus’ miracles: Jairus’ daughter

Jesus brings a girl back to life

  • Jesus
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There are several stories in the gospels of Jesus bringing people back to life. In one story, Jesus heals a 12-year-old girl who has died. You can read about it Mark 5: 21-43 or watch a version of the story here.

LIFE-JESUS-MIRACLE?

What is a miracle?

  • Jesus
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When Christians talk about a miracle, they mean an event that is not ‘normal’ – that is, one that should not be able to happen according to the laws of nature. The Gospels describe 35 miracles that Jesus performed. Over half of these 35 stories […]

The Unforgiving Servant

What does it mean?

  • Jesus
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Benny the Boss Unforgiving

The Unforgiving Servant

What does it mean?

  • Jesus
  • Text

The parables were stories Jesus used which enabled him to explain his teachings in a way he knew that the people would remember. They were also a means in which he could teach tough principles that were central to the Christian faith. One of these […]

The Lost Son

What does it mean?

  • Jesus
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JESUS-PARABLE-LOST SON

The Lost Son

What does it mean?

  • Jesus
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‘The Lost Son’ is the third of a group of Jesus’ parables about the idea of losing and finding. In the first one, a shepherd has a hundred sheep and then goes looking for one who wanders off. In the second one, a woman who […]

Prodigal Lost Son

Parables: The Lost Son

  • Jesus
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‘The Lost (or Prodigal) Son’ is a very famous parable. It is the last of three parables Jesus tells about ‘lost’ things – first a sheep, then a coin, then finally a child. In the parable, the father represents God. The son represents the people […]

The Good Samaritan

What does it mean?

  • Jesus
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The Good Samaritan

What does it mean?

  • Jesus
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We all have people that we find difficult to love, those we would rather not know or cannot ever say anything good about. Jesus is asked a question “Who is my neighbour?” – that is, whom am I responsible for? He does not give a […]

Parables: The Good Samaritian

  • Jesus
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One of the most famous parables of Jesus is known as ‘The Good Samaritan’. Samaritans were a group of people living next door to the Jews. (The Jews were the first people to hear Jesus’ story.) The Jews and the Samaritans were enemies and avoided […]

Jesus’ parables

What is a parable?

  • Jesus
  • Video gallery

Jesus’ parables

What is a parable?

  • Jesus
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A parable is an imaginary story used to teach people a moral lesson (for example, how to treat people in need) or a spiritual lesson (for example, what God is like). In some ways, stories help people to understand things better. But Jesus also said […]

Jesus’ teaching: Money

What did Jesus teach about money and giving?

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Jesus’ teaching: Money

What did Jesus teach about money and giving?

  • Jesus
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Money. It can do wonderful things and change lives for the better. Equally, it can be a cause of stress, arguments and leave our lives in a mess. Having too much can make you greedy for more, having too little can make you desperate. The […]

What is the Bible?

Introduction to this best selling book.

  • Bible
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What is the Bible?

Introduction to this best selling book.

  • Bible
  • Image gallery

Christians often refer to the Bible as ‘God’s Word’ and therefore see it as the most important book ever written. Although the Bible is more than 3000 years old Christians believe that, through this amazing book, God is still teaching, helping and guiding them today. […]

Questions about Jesus

What do we know about Jesus?

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QUESTION

Questions about Jesus

What do we know about Jesus?

  • Jesus
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Did Jesus really exist? Yes. The New Testament part of the Bible tells us about who Jesus was, what he did, and why. But other writings by people who weren’t Christians also talk about a man named Jesus. Roman and Jewish historians such as Josephus […]

Christian Festivals

What are the big events that happen during the year?

  • Festivals
  • Timeline
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Christian Festivals

What are the big events that happen during the year?

  • Festivals
  • Timeline

Our calendar year is divided into four seasons – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Each season has its special characteristics, colours and associations. For example Autumn is often associated with harvest, and the orange and yellow leaves that blow around in the blustery wind. It […]