The following are the key events in the life of Christ and the Bible books where each is described (Part 1):
Birth: (Matthew 1—2; Luke 2) – Within these passages are all the elements of the well-known Christmas story, the beginning of the earthly life of Christ. Mary and Joseph, no room at the inn, the babe in the manger, the shepherds with their flocks, a multitude of angels rejoicing. We also see wise men from the East following the star to Bethlehem and bearing gifts for the Christ child, and Joseph, Mary, and Jesus escaping to Egypt and later returning to Nazareth. These passages also include Jesus being presented at the temple at eight days old and, at twelve years old, remaining behind at the temple speaking with the teachers there. The story of the birth of the Savior two thousand years ago is amazing, filled with exquisite and meaningful details treasured by those present as well as believers millennia after. But the story of God coming to earth as a man began thousands of years earlier with the prophecies of the coming Messiah. God spoke of a Savior in Genesis 3:15. Centuries later, Isaiah foretold of a virgin who would conceive and bear a son and call His name Emmanuel, which means “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14). The first of the key events in the life of Christ is the humble beginning in a stable, when God came to be with us, born to set His people free and to save us from our sins.
Baptism: (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-23) – Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist at the Jordan River is the first act of His public ministry. John’s was a baptism of repentance, and although Jesus did not need such a baptism, He consented to it in order to identify Himself with sinners. In fact, when John balked that Jesus wanted to be baptized by him, saying that it was he, John, who should be baptized by Jesus, Jesus insisted. Jesus said, "It is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness," so John did as requested (Matthew 3:13-15). In His baptism, Jesus identified with the sinners whose sins He would soon bear on the cross where He would exchange His righteousness for their sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). The baptism of Christ symbolized His death and resurrection, prefigured and lent importance to Christian baptism, and publicly identified Christ with those for whom He would die. In addition, His identity as the long-awaited Messiah was confirmed by God Himself who spoke from heaven: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Finally, Jesus’ baptism was the scene of the very first appearance of the Trinity to man. The Son was baptized, the Father spoke, and the Holy Spirit descended like a dove. The Father’s command, the Son’s obedience, and the Holy Spirit’s empowerment present a beautiful picture of the ministry and life of Christ.
First miracle: (John 2:1-11) – It is fitting that John’s Gospel is the only one that records Jesus’ first miracle. John’s account of the life of Christ has as its theme and purpose to reveal the deity of Christ. This event, where Jesus turns water into wine, shows His divine power over the elements of the earth, the same power that would be revealed again in many more miracles of healing and the control of the elements such as wind and the sea. John goes on to tell us that this first miracle had two outcomes—the glory of Christ was manifest and the disciples believed in Him (John 2:11). The divine, glorified nature of Christ was hidden when He assumed human form, but in instances such as this miracle, His true nature burst forth and was made manifest to all who had eyes to see (Matthew 13:16). The disciples always believed in Jesus, but the miracles helped to strengthen their faith and prepare them for the difficult times that lay ahead of them.
Sermon on the Mount: (Matthew 5:1-7:29) – Perhaps the most famous sermon of all time was preached by Jesus to His disciples early in His public ministry. Many memorable phrases that we know today came from this sermon, including “blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth,” “salt of the earth,” “an eye for an eye,” “the lilies of the field,” “ask and you will receive,” and “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” as well as the concepts of going the extra mile, turning the other cheek, and the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Also in the sermon is the Lord’s Prayer. Most importantly, though, the Sermon on the Mount dealt a devastating blow to the Pharisees and their religion of works-righteousness. By expounding the spirit of the Law and not just the letter of it, Jesus left no doubt that legalism is of no avail for salvation and that, in fact, the demands of the Law are humanly impossible to meet. He ends the sermon with a call to true faith for salvation and a warning that the way to that salvation is narrow and few find it. Jesus compares those who hear His words and put them into practice to wise builders who build their houses on a solid foundation; when storms come, their houses withstand.