What are some of the important events in Jesus' life?
Jesus is at the centre of the Christian faith.
- But what do we know about him?
- How do we know about his life and work?
- What are the key events of his life?
Work your way through this timeline to find out the answers to these questions and more...
The Story of Jesus
The story of Jesus is told in four books in the Bible: 'Matthew', 'Mark', 'Luke' and 'John'. These are called the 'Gospels'. They all tell the same story, but are written by different people. Because of this, the Gospels are similar but not all the same. It's like four people watching a football match and then telling what happened in it to a friend. Most of the stories will be similar, but one person might talk about something that happened in the match which the others don't mention.
In the same way, the Gospels have some stories which appear in all four of the books. Some stories appear in three of the books and some appear in two. Some stories appear only once.
The timeline to the right shows some of the key stories of Jesus' life, as told in the Gospels.
Jesus is Born
The angel Gabriel visited Mary to tell her that she was going to have a very special baby and she was to call him Jesus. Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem at the same time that Jesus was due to be born. There was a problem, though, the town was so busy that there was no where to stay. Mary and Joseph had to stay in a stable where the animals were kept. This is where Jesus was born and Mary laid in him the manger. The first people to visit Jesus were the shepherds.
The Wise Men
Jesus was seen as so special by one group of people that they travelled a long way to visit him. The wise men had been waiting for a sign that a great leader had been born. When they saw a special star in the sky they knew that it was time.
At first they thought that such an important person must be born in a palace and so they went to see King Herod but the king knew nothing about a baby. Eventually the wise men found Jesus in Bethlehem and gave him the gifts they had bought him of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Jesus as a boy
The Bible doesn't tell us much else about Jesus' early life until it is time for him to start the special work that he had been sent from heaven to do.
At that time Jesus arrived from Galilee and came to John the Baptist at the Jordan to be baptised by him. As soon as Jesus was baptised, he came up out of the water. Then heaven was opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and lighting on him. Then a voice said from heaven, “This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased.”
Jesus - The Teacher
Part of the work that Jesus was sent to do was to teach people. Jesus would often use special stories called parables to teach people about God and the way He wanted people to live. One of the most famous parables Jesus told is about the lost sheep.
Jesus - The Friend
Jesus often made friends with people that others didn't get on with. Christians believe that this shows that God's love and friendship is for everyone and not just for the famous or popular people.
Jesus - The Miracle Maker
Jesus performed many amazing acts that the Bible calls miracles. The Bible says that Jesus healed people who were sick, walked on water, changed water into wine and he even brought people back from the dead.
Christians remember Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.
On Maundy Thursday, Christians remember the last meal Jesus had with his disciples.
On Good Friday, Christians remember Jesus dying on the cross.
On Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate Jesus being alive again.
Jesus' Death and Resurrection
During Easter time, Christians remember the last week of Jesus' life, his death and resurrection. For Christians this is at the centre of everything they believe.