Obviously, Jesus is central to the Christian faith. Who he was, what he did and said, what Christians believe about him - these are the fundamentals of Christian believing.
Whatever you make of the 'faith claims' of Christianity, the simple fact of the existence of the man Jesus of Nazareth is established beyond all reasonable doubt. The precise deails of his life are not known, but there are some facts of which we can be certain:
- He was born in the town of Bethlehem
- He was brought up in the Galileean village of Nazareth
- He was baptised by John in the River Jordan
- He preached, and attracted a group of disciples
- His activities were confined to Israel
- He was engaged in conflict about the Temple
- He was crucified by the Romans
- After his death, his followers believed that he had risen from the grave and continued as a movement.
- At least parts of this new movement were persecuted by both Jews and Romans
What do Christians believe about Jesus?
Christians believe that Jesus Christ is God the Son, second person of the Trinity, who was with God the Father from eternity, sharing his nature and acting with him in creation. He was born as a human being to reveal God to us in a unique way. Jesus Christ alone is both completely human and completely divine.
Jesus claimed to have a purpose.
One thing many people find fascinating is Jesus claims to have a purpose in life. He did all these things -- Why?
Matthew 1:21 - And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Matt 10:34-35 - "I came not to send peace, but a sword."
Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45 - the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Mark 2:17 - When Jesus heard [it], he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Luke 4:18 - The Spirit of the Lord ... hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luke 5:32 - I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Luke 9:56 - the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save [them].
Luke 21:38 - And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, for to hear him.
John 6:38 - For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
John 10:10 - The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.
John 12:47 - And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
John 18:37 - Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
Gal 2:4 - And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
1 Tim 1:15 - This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
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