Birth of Jesus to His Death
The angel Gabriel was sent to a fine young woman named Mary. He told her that she would have a child who would rule as king forever. The child, Jesus, was born in a stable, where shepherds visited him. Later, a star guided men from the East to the young child. We learn who caused them to see that star, and how Jesus was saved from the efforts to kill him.
Next, we find Jesus, when he was 12 years old, talking with the teachers in the temple. Eighteen years later Jesus was baptized, and he then began the Kingdom preaching and teaching work that God sent him to earth to do. To help him in this work, Jesus chose 12 men and made them his apostles.
Jesus also did many miracles. He fed thousands of people with only a few small fishes and a few loaves of bread. He healed the sick and even raised the dead. Finally, we learn about the many things that happened to Jesus during the last day of his life, and how he was killed. Jesus preached for about three and a half years, so PART 6 covers a period of a little more than 34 years.
An Angel Visits Mary
THIS pretty woman is Mary. She is an Israelitess, who lives in the town of Nazʹa·reth. God knows that she is a very fine person. That is why he has sent his angel Gaʹbri·el to speak to her. Do you know what Gaʹbri·el has come to tell Mary? Let’s see.
‘Good day, you highly favored one,’ Gaʹbri·el says to her. ‘Jehovah is with you.’ Mary has never seen this person before. She is worried, because she doesn’t know what he means. But right away Gaʹbri·el calms her fears.
‘Don’t be afraid, Mary,’ he says. ‘Jehovah is very pleased with you. That is why he is going to do a wonderful thing for you. You will soon have a baby. And you are to call him Jesus.’
Gaʹbri·el goes on to explain: ‘This child will be great, and he will be called Son of the Most High God. Jehovah will make him king, as David was. But Jesus will be a king forever, and his kingdom will never end!’
‘How can this all be?’ Mary asks. ‘I am not even married. I have not lived with a man, so how can I have a baby?’
‘God’s power will come upon you,’ Gaʹbri·el answers. ‘So the child will be called God’s Son.’ Then he tells Mary: ‘Remember your relative Elizabeth. People said that she was too old to have children. But soon now she will have a son. So you see, there is nothing that God can’t do.’
Right away Mary says: ‘I am Jehovah’s slave girl! May it happen to me just as you have said.’ The angel then leaves.
Mary hurries off to visit Elizabeth. When Elizabeth hears Mary’s voice, the baby inside Elizabeth jumps for joy. Elizabeth is filled with God’s spirit, and she says to Mary: ‘You are specially blessed among women.’ Mary stays with Elizabeth about three months, and then goes back home to Nazʹa·reth.
Mary is about to get married to a man named Joseph. But when Joseph learns that Mary is going to have a baby, he doesn’t think he should marry her. Then God’s angel says to him: ‘Don’t be afraid to take Mary to be your wife. For it is God who has given her a son.’ So Mary and Joseph get married, and they wait for Jesus to be born.
Two Messages From God
THE ANGEL GABRIEL FORETELLS THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
GABRIEL TELLS MARY OF THE COMING BIRTH OF JESUS
Jesus born stemple
DO YOU know who this little baby is? Yes, it is Jesus. He has just been born in a stable. A stable is where animals are kept. Mary is laying Jesus in the manger, which is the place that holds the food for donkeys and other animals to eat. But why are Mary and Joseph here with the animals? This is no place for a baby to be born, is it?
No, it isn’t. But this is why they are here: The ruler of Rome, Caesar Au·gusʹtus, made a law that everyone must return to the city where he was born to have his name written in a book. Well, Joseph was born here in Bethʹle·hem. But when he and Mary arrived, there wasn’t a room for them anywhere. So they had to come here with the animals. And on this very day Mary gave birth to Jesus! But, as you can see, he is all right.
Can you see the shepherds coming to see Jesus? They were in the fields at night taking care of their sheep, and a bright light shone all around them. It was an angel! The shepherds were very much afraid. But the angel said: ‘Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you. Today, in Bethʹle·hem, Christ the Lord was born. He will save the people! You will find him wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly many angels came and began praising God. So right away these shepherds hurried to look for Jesus, and now they have found him.
Do you know why Jesus is so special? Do you know who he really is? Remember, in the first story of this book we told about God’s first Son. This Son worked with Jehovah in making the heavens and the earth and everything else. Well, this is who Jesus is!
Yes, Jehovah took the life of his Son from heaven and put it inside Mary. Right away a baby began to grow inside her just as other babies grow inside their mothers. But this baby was God’s Son. Finally Jesus was born here in a stable in Bethʹle·hem. Can you see now why the angels were so happy to be able to tell people that Jesus had been born?
Young Jesus in the Temple
LOOK at the young boy talking to these older men. They are teachers in God’s temple at Jerusalem. And the boy is Jesus. He has grown up quite a bit. Now he is 12 years old.
The teachers are very surprised that Jesus knows so much about God and the things written in the Bible. But why aren’t Joseph and Mary here too? Where are they? Let’s find out.
Every year Joseph brings his family to Jerusalem for the special celebration called the Passover. It’s a long trip from Nazʹa·reth to Jerusalem. No one has a car, and there are no trains. They didn’t have them in those days. Most of the people walk, and it takes them about three days to get to Jerusalem.
By now Joseph has a big family. So there are some younger brothers and sisters of Jesus to look after. Well, this year Joseph and Mary have left with their children on the long trip back home to Nazʹa·reth. They think that Jesus is with others traveling along. But when they stop at the end of the day, they can’t find Jesus. They look for him among their relatives and friends, but he’s not with them! So they return to Jerusalem to look for him there.
At last they find Jesus here with the teachers. He is listening to them and asking questions. And all the people are amazed at how wise Jesus is. But Mary says: ‘Child, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been very worried trying to find you.’
‘Why did you have to look for me?’ Jesus answers. ‘Didn’t you know that I had to be in the house of my Father?’
Yes, Jesus loves to be where he can learn about God. Isn’t that the way we should feel too? Back home in Nazʹa·reth, Jesus would go to meetings for worship every week. Because he always paid attention, he learned many things from the Bible. Let’s be like Jesus and follow his example.
Jesus Is Killed
LOOK at the terrible thing that is happening! Jesus is being killed. They have put him on a stake. Nails are driven into his hands and feet. Why would anybody want to do this to Jesus?
It is because some persons hate Jesus. Do you know who they are? One of them is the wicked angel Satan the Devil. He is the one who was able to get Adam and Eve to disobey Jehovah. And Satan is the one who got the enemies of Jesus to commit this terrible crime.
Even before Jesus is nailed here on the
stake, his enemies do mean things to him. Remember how they came to the garden of Geth·semʹa·ne and took him away? Who were those enemies? Yes, they were the religious leaders. Well, let’s see what happens next.
When Jesus is taken by the religious leaders, his apostles run away. They leave Jesus alone with his enemies, because they become afraid. But the apostles Peter and John do not go very far away. They follow along to see what happens to Jesus.
The priests take Jesus to the old man Anʹnas, who used to be the high priest. The crowd does not stay here long. They next take Jesus to the house of Caʹia·phas, who is now the high priest. Many religious leaders have gathered at his house.
Here at the house of Caʹia·phas they have a trial. People are brought in to tell lies about Jesus. The religious leaders all say: ‘Jesus should be put to death.’ Then they spit in his face, and hit him with their fists.
While all of this is going on, Peter is outside in the yard. It is a cold night, and so the people make a fire. While they are warming themselves around the fire, a servant girl looks at Peter, and says: ‘This man also was with Jesus.’
‘No, I wasn’t!’ Peter answers.
Three times people say to Peter that he was with Jesus. But each time Peter says it is not true. The third time Peter says this, Jesus turns and looks at him. Peter feels very sorry for telling these lies, and he goes away and weeps.
As the sun starts to come up on Friday morning, the priests take Jesus to their big meeting place, the Sanʹhe·drin hall. Here they talk over what they are going to do with him. They take him to Pontius Pilate, the ruler of the district of Ju·deʹa.
‘This is a bad man,’ the priests tell Pilate. ‘He should be killed.’ After asking Jesus questions, Pilate says: ‘I can’t see that he has done anything wrong.’ Then Pilate sends Jesus to Herod Anʹti·pas. Herod is the ruler of Galʹi·lee, but he is staying in Jerusalem. Herod can’t see that Jesus has done anything wrong either, so he sends him back to Pilate.
Pilate wants to let Jesus go. But Jesus’ enemies want another prisoner to be let go instead. This man is the robber Bar·abʹbas. It is now about noon when Pilate brings Jesus outside. He says to the people: ‘See! Your king!’ But the chief priests yell: ‘Take him away! Kill him! Kill him!’ So Pilate lets Bar·abʹbas go free, and they take Jesus away to be killed.
Early Friday afternoon Jesus is nailed to a stake. You can’t see them in the picture, but on each side of Jesus a criminal is also being put to death on a stake. Shortly before Jesus dies, one of the criminals says to him: ‘Remember me when you get into your kingdom.’ And Jesus answers: ‘I promise you that you will be with me in Paradise.’
Isn’t that a wonderful promise? Do you know what paradise Jesus is talking about? Where was the paradise that God made at the beginning? Yes, on earth. And when Jesus rules as king in heaven, he will bring this man back to life to enjoy the new Paradise on earth. Can’t we be happy about that?