Culture & Literature
LIFE Explores The Life of Jesus

LIFE Explores The Life of Jesus

LIFE Explores The Life of Jesus

His life story began with a miracle and became one of the most transformative and enduring ever told. This new special edition serves as the perfect guide through every stage of the profound life of Jesus. You'll start with his early years: the angels and shepherds; his baptism; and his battle with evil. Then, witness him as a master teacher, with the Parables, the Sermon on the Mount, and his profound lesson to live by example. Revisit his performing of miracles, the Last Supper, and the power of his death and resurrection. From there, see how far his word has spread, and visualize his transcendent ascension to heaven. This special edition includes classic art, key verses from the New Testament, and commentary that highlights the hope and faith Jesus brought to the world.

United States
Meredith Corporation
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$21.47(Incl. tax)

in this issue

2 min.
who is jesus?

Who exactly was Jesus? Each of the four Gospel writers has his own unique approach to answering this question. Matthew: (possibly also called Levi; a former tax collector and a disciple) focuses on Jesus as king and messiah. Writing for his fellow Jews who are familiar with scripture, Matthew fills his Gospel with Old Testament messianic prophecies that are fulfilled in Jesus’s life. He begins by tracing Jesus’s legal bloodline through his adopted father, Joseph, back to Abraham. This genealogy is unusual because, in addition to Mary, it includes Ruth, a Gentile, plus three women who committed sexual sin: Tamar, Rahab and Bathsheba. Mark: (may have collaborated with Peter and Paul and founded the Coptic Church in Africa) writes the shortest and most action-packed Gospel, probably intended for a Roman audience. He…

1 min.
a new era

The incredible story of the life of Jesus begins with births to two unlikely couples in Judea: an elderly priest and his barren wife and a young virgin and her fiance. HERALDING A BOY NAMED JOHN It is the angel Gabriel who signals the new era with two prophecies. First he appears to the old priest Zechariah and tells him that his wife, Elizabeth, will soon bear a son and that the couple is to call the baby John. Zechariah doubts the angel’s words and is struck dumb, but Elizabeth does conceive and give birth as prophesied. Zechariah miraculously recovers his voice only when he writes on a tablet, “His name is John.” A VIRGIN IS STARTLED But another, even more amazing birth is about to take place. This time, Gabriel appears to Mary.…

1 min.
verses and insights

WHY IS THE BIRTH OF JOHN SO SIGNIFICANT? John has an important assignment, as foretold by his father: “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways.” (Luke 1:76) His life task: to ready the world for the coming messiah. A MISCALCULATION How is it possible that historical timelines show Jesus being born four to six years B.C. (or “before Christ”)? In the 6th century, the historian Dionysius proposed making Jesus’s birth the basis of the calendar and labeled years after the birth Anno Domini, or A.D. However, he miscalculated the year Herod died, which we now know was 4 B.C. John’s and Jesus’s births would have occurred before that, so the calendar is off by four to six…

2 min.
angels, shepherds, wise men and a wicked king

Only two Gospels—Matthew and Luke—discuss Jesus’s birth, and the amazing events they record are fitting for a newborn king and savior. BRIGHT ANGELS ON A DARK NIGHT Luke’s account of angels appearing to shepherds on the night of Jesus’s birth gives early clues of who Jesus will become. The first angel says, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:10, 11) Then a host of angels fills the sky, singing glory to God. When the angels leave, the shepherds hurry into town and find the baby as described. After viewing him with wonder, they spread the news of all they have seen…

1 min.
the mary debates

Christian communities around the world venerate Mary, the Jewish woman from Nazareth who gave birth to Jesus. But there is sharp theological debate about Mary’s role beyond physically delivering the son of God. Some Protestants, including most Evangelicals, see Mary simply as the mother of Jesus, and her role is limited to her giving him physical birth. Other traditions, such as Catholic, Orthodox and Coptic, believe that since Mary was the mother of Jesus, she was also the mother of God—the Theotokos, or the bearer of God. These communities have developed theologies and practices specifically around Mary, such as Catholics saying the rosary, a sacramental prayer that honors her.…

2 min.
the special years

Jesus and John grow up separately, but each of them is preparing for the time when their lives will intersect. LOSING JESUS Jesus grows up living a quiet life with his family in Nazareth. He has four brothers and several sisters (Matthew 13:55, 56), although Catholics believe they may have been Jesus’s step-siblings or cousins. Each year for Passover, it is Mary and Joseph’s custom to travel to Jerusalem to celebrate the holiday. When Jesus is 12, they make the trip as usual, but once it has ended and they are on their way home, Joseph and Mary discover that Jesus has disappeared from the caravan. They return to Jerusalem, search for three days and finally find Jesus in the Temple. He’s sitting in the middle of Israel’s foremost scholars, listening intently and…