The Life and Mission of Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the greatest being to be born on this earth—our perfect example. He is Lord of lords, the Creator, our Savior, and He came to Earth so that we could live with God again.

Born in Humble Circumstances

Jesus was born to the virgin Mary in a small village in a remote corner of the world. That humble birth fulfilled the hopes and dreams of all of us. He was the Son of God with infinite knowledge and power, yet He was also mortal and susceptible to hunger and pain. Jesus Christ fully experienced the challenges and sorrow of this life. He knows each of us and understands us perfectly.

Mary the mother of Jesus holds her newborn son as she wraps Him in swaddling clothes

Early Preparation

Even as a young man, Jesus was teaching the word of God. At 12 years old, He taught in the temple, and all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding. When Jesus began His ministry, He fasted in the wilderness for 40 days. He was tempted by the devil and overcame that temptation. He was also baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. Although Jesus was without sin, He was still baptized by immersion in order to teach us obedience to God. After Jesus’s baptism, God declared, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Ministry

Jesus healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and even brought the dead back to life. More importantly, More importantly, He made these miracles possible. Although His works were considered blasphemous behavior by the Jewish priests, Jesus continually reminded people that His works were aligned with God’s will so “that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13).

Jesus is also the perfect example of love. During His life on the earth, He cared for the poor, He healed the sick (see Luke 17:12–19), and He never turned away little children (see Matthew 19:13–14). His love is endless and available to all of us.

Jesus taught that we must forgive. Even as He died on the cross, Jesus forgave the people who killed Him.

Jesus Performed Miracles

Jesus healed the sick, walked on water, raised the dead, calmed the sea, and turned water into wine. Those miracles fulfilled ancient prophecies and demonstrated His divinity. They also show Jesus Christ’s infinite compassion for us. With all this assurance, we can know that He is our God and that He has power over all His creations. We can have faith in Him to perform miracles in our lives today.

The Miracles of Jesus

He gave sight to the blind

“Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it” (Matthew 9:27–31).

He cleansed the lepers

“And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed” (Luke 17:12–19).

He healed the sick and afflicted

“And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God” (Luke 13:11–17).

He raised the dead

“Behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. … And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. … And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up” (Luke 7:12–15).

He turned water into wine

“Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. … And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was” (John 2:1–11).

He walked on water

“And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea” (Matthew 14:25).

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He fed thousands with little food

“And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. And they did all eat, and were filled” (Mark 6:34–44).

Divine Teachings

Jesus was the greatest teacher who ever lived. He often used parables, or stories, to teach important lessons that we can still learn from today.

The Parables of Jesus

The Laborers in the Vineyard

Jesus taught that all who choose to come unto Him and labor in His work can have the opportunity to receive equal blessings (see Matthew 20:1–16).

The Unforgiving Servant

Jesus taught us the important lesson of forgiveness by asking, ”Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?” (See Matthew 18:33.)

The Good Samaritan

Jesus said that we should love our neighbor, and the parable of the good Samaritan teaches us that our neighbors can be anyone, including strangers or foes. (See Luke 10:25–37.)

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The Prodigal Son

As the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ earnestly seeks after all of us—especially those who have been separated from His flock.

His teachings were far ahead of His time. He taught us to love our enemies. He taught us to forgive. He taught us to see people beyond their race, age, gender, or nationality. He taught us to love God and to love our neighbor. But more importantly, He showed love in everything He did.

Jesus Died for Us

Throughout His life, many were angry with Jesus because He condemned hypocrisy. He taught unfamiliar truths and showed compassion to sinners. He demonstrated incredible power, and some civic and church leaders felt threatened by His influence.

The night before He was killed, Jesus retreated to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. There, He felt the weight of every sin and pain known to humankind and suffered for every person who has ever lived. Afterwards, Jesus was betrayed, arrested, mocked, beaten, and crucified on the cross—all of which He allowed in order to fulfill God’s will. “I lay down my life,” the Lord said, “that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (John 10:17–18). Even as Jesus was being killed by His own people, He cried out that God might have mercy on them.

The Roles of Jesus Christ

Jesus Rose from the Grave

Three days after His death, Jesus rose from the the tomb and appeared to His friends and followers. Because Jesus lives again, we too will be resurrected one day. He broke the bands of death when he arose from the tomb that first Easter morning. Because of His sacrifice and resurrection, we can meet our daily challenges with faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We can know that there are no lost causes, there are no endings, and none of us are beyond His perfect love and infinite power to save.

Two sister missionaries study the Book of Mormon with a woman on her living room couch
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