What Does the Bible Teach about Jesus?

The Bible teaches us of Jesus’s parables, miracles, and most importantly His life. He is a perfect example for us. Through the Bible, we can come to know and love Jesus.

A man sitting on a couch studies the Holy Bible with the pages open to the epistle of Paul to Philemon

The four Gospels

The life of Jesus Christ is detailed in the first four books of the New Testament, which are known as the four Gospels. Each gospel is attributed to a different author—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Matthew and John were Apostles of Jesus who witnessed these events firsthand. Instead of each gospel picking up where the last one left off, each author offers a start-to-finish account of Jesus’s ministry in ancient Judea. This means that we have four different perspectives on the life of Jesus Christ, each with their own unique insights and points of view. Together, they provide an unforgettable testimony of Jesus’s teachings, His example, and His sacrifice.

The teachings of Jesus

During His life, the teachings of Jesus Christ took many different forms. Sometimes they were responses to questions He was asked. Other times, they were sermons He gave to His assembled followers, such as the Sermon on the Mount. Often His teachings took the form of parables—simple stories He told to illustrate important gospel principles in a way that would be understood by sincere seekers of the truth.

But no matter the way He chose to deliver His message, common themes emerged. Jesus taught the importance of making sure we’re righteous not just in our actions, but also in our thoughts, feelings, and motivations. He expressed the need to care for the most vulnerable among us while condemning hypocrisy and pride. He continually glorified His Heavenly Father and encouraged His followers to strengthen their relationship with God through prayer.

The Parables of Jesus

The Prodigal Son
Jesus teaches forgiveness through the story of a father who welcomes back a wayward child.
The Good Samaritan
Jesus teaches neighborly love through the story of a man who dropped everything to help a stranger who had been beaten and robbed.
The Lost Sheep
Jesus teaches the value of every soul through the story of the shepherd who leaves his 99 sheep to find the one who is lost.
The Parable of the Talents
Jesus teaches the importance of personal growth through the story of three servants who are given gifts that they are expected to nurture and grow.

The example of Jesus

Jesus showed us the way to live not just through His words but through His actions. As you read the four Gospels, you’ll see examples of Jesus using His time to heal the sick, feed the hungry, and comfort the grieving. He expressed love to others and was willing to take a stand for what He knew was right. Unlike Jesus, we can’t live a life without sin, but we can do our best to follow the example He’s given us.

The sacrifice of Jesus

No matter how hard we try to learn the teachings of Jesus Christ and follow His example, we’ll make mistakes. That is when the true power of Jesus Christ as taught in the four Gospels comes into effect. John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The four Gospels teach us that, during the final week of His life, Jesus Christ suffered and died to pay the price for our sins. This sacrifice is called the Atonement. Because of Jesus’s atoning sacrifice, we can repent and be forgiven so that we can one day return to the presence of God.

After Jesus Christ died, He was miraculously resurrected. Because Jesus Christ overcame death, all of us can look forward to life after death. Of all that we can learn of Jesus in the Bible, the reality of His sacrifice is the most powerful principle we can come to understand.

The Epistles of the New Testament

After Jesus Christ’s Resurrection, He organized His disciples to ensure that the work of His gospel would continue. An account of their travels and experiences can be found in the Book of Acts, which immediately follows the four Gospels in the New Testament. The rest of the New Testament is largely made up of a series of writings from the early Apostles. These are often called the Epistles, but it can help us to think of them as letters. In these epistles, we can find many wonderful teachings about Jesus Christ from the early Apostles as they wrote to bolster the faith of Christianity’s earliest converts.

Christ in the Epistles

1 John 4:19
“We love him, because he first loved us.”
Romans 8:16–17
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.”
1 Corinthians 12:27
“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”
1 John 1:7
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

The Book of Revelation

In the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John details his vision of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, when He will return in glory and establish His kingdom on earth. This is the moment when all the world will know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. In Revelation 5:13 it says, “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”

The Old Testament

Even though the Old Testament never refers to the Savior as “Jesus Christ,” we see many of His other names throughout its pages. Messiah, Jehovah, Emmanuel, Redeemer, Holy One of Israel, Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace are just a few of the names by which He is identified. Old Testament prophets foretold His birth, His ministry, and His saving sacrifice. For example, in the book of Isaiah, we receive a beautiful, multifaceted description of the Messiah who would come to redeem God’s people. Jesus’s birth is detailed in Isaiah 7:14, which says:

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Isaiah 6:1 fortells the ministry of Jesus Christ:

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.”

We receive a moving testimony of Jesus’s forthcoming sacrifice in Isaiah 53:4–5, which says:

“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

These verses are just some of the ways the Old Testament points us to Jesus Christ. In fact, during His mortal ministry as detailed in the New Testament, Jesus often pointed out the very scriptures in the Old Testament that He was fulfilling. His words provide a bridge between the two halves of the Holy Bible, bringing them together into one unified voice declaring that He is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Redeemer of Israel, and the Savior of all mankind.

Symbolism in the Old Testament

Abraham and Issac
When Abraham was faced with the sacrifice of his firstborn son, it symbolized the unfathomable sacrifice Heavenly Father would make through the death of His Firstborn Son, Jesus Christ.
The Serpent in the Wilderness
When poisonous serpents attacked, Moses held up a staff in the wilderness to save the lives of the Israelites, who only had to look upon it to be healed. Similarly, we must look to Jesus Christ as the one true source of salvation.
The Law of Moses
When God instructed Moses to institute a law of animal sacrifice among his people, it was an echo of the sacrifice Jesus Christ would make on our behalf.
Jonah and the Great Fish
When Jonah was swallowed up by a great fish, he remained in its belly for three days before he was delivered back into the light of day, reminding us of the three days Christ would remain in the grave before being gloriously resurrected.

Learn More about the Bible, Jesus, and His Teachings