This year my A to Z challenge is about Christmas, a major festival in the Christian Church. Another major festival is Easter, which I wrote about for the A to Z Challenge in 2020.
Jesus is the name the angel told Mary to give to her son. Luke 1:26-38. The Old Testament name Joshua is another form of the name, Jesus. It may be translated as Jehovah is salvation. From my A to Z Challenge in 2015
A short blog post is nowhere near long enough to cover everything that is known about Jesus. The gospel written by St John (one of Jesus’ disciples) ends with the idea that the whole world could not contain all the books that could be written about his acts! John 21:25
John’s gospel begins with Jesus (The Word) being with God before creation. He is from everlasting to everlasting and yet he was born as a baby in Bethlehem. The incarnation was explored more in my post for the Letter I.
A brief summary of Jesus’ life on earth follows:
He was born in Bethlehem in a stable. His birth year was not the precise year from which our calendar begins to count for A.D. (The year of our Lord) or as it is now known common era, CE (a year in our time). Changing the name of the calendar reflects a tendency to remove Jesus from history, but every part of the Bible either points towards him or is about him.
His parents, Mary and Joseph, took him to Egypt to escape from Herod. After Herod died they returned to their home town of Nazareth, where Jesus grew up. When he was 12 years old the family made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
His ministry began when he was about 30 years old. He gathered together twelve disciples and taught them about the kingdom of God. They travelled around towns and villages and he taught great crowds and performed many miracles of healing. He also multiplied food to feed the crowds on two occasions. His first miracle (or sign) had been to turn water into wine at a wedding.
He rose from the dead on the third day after his death. After his resurrection he was seen by many people and could appear and disappear. He ascended into heaven. He sent the Holy Spirit to help his followers. He will return to judge the living and the dead.
Joseph in the Christmas story is a carpenter of builder from Nazareth, who married Mary the mother of Jesus. (There is another famous person named Joseph in the Old Testament. I wrote about him here from the point of view of one of his brothers.)
Little has been written about Joseph. He was descended from King David. Joseph saw angels in his dreams before Jesus was born and when it was time to return from Egypt. He was a carpenter with a large family including Jesus’ brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas as well as an unspecified number of daughters. Matthew 13:55-56
John the Baptist was mentioned in my post for E about his mother Elizabeth. He prepared the way for Jesus’ ministry by calling people to repentance and baptising them in the River Jordan. He is particularly remembered during Advent although his saint’s day is 24th June. He could be described as the first New Testament martyr. Matthew 14:1-12
On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry is an Advent hymn about John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.
While this year’s A to Z badges by Anjela Curtis honour the late Jeremy Hawkins, I hope that my posts about Christmas honour Jesus Christ, ‘who was and is and is to come’. Revelation 1:4