John the Baptist was standing with Andrew and John, two of his disciples one day. He saw Jesus and pointing Him out to them, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God.” Since John was preparing the way for Him, these two disciples left him and followed Jesus.
Andrew brought his brother, Simon (who would later be called Peter) to Jesus. The next day, Jesus found Philip and Philip brought Nathanael (Bartholomew) to Him. He then had five disciples who would work with Him during His ministry.
Various Scriptures proclaim that Jesus is the Son of God. John was sent to prepare the way for Jesus and at this point in his ministry, he pronounced that Jesus was, “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” He further stated, “And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”
Mt. 4:1-11; Mk. 1:12, 13; Lk. 4:1-13
The Spirit then led Jesus into the wilderness for a test to determine how well He could withstand temptations. During these forty days, He did not eat. Afterward, He was hungry and the devil tempted Him three times. Jesus responded each time by quoting Scripture. The defeated devil left Him for a more opportune time and as far as we know, he never tempted Jesus again.
Mt.3:13-17; Mk. 1:9-11; Lk. 3:21, 22
Jesus came from Galilee to be baptized by John in the Jordan River. At first, John objected to baptizing Him, saying that he needed to be baptized by Jesus. Jesus explained that it was necessary in order to fulfill all righteousness or to do God’s complete will.
After Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and the Spirit of God descended like a dove and lit upon Him. God endorsed Him by a voice from heaven that said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Mt. 3:1-12; Mk. 1:1-8; Lk. 3:1-18; Jn. 1:19-28
At about the time Jesus became thirty years old, John the Baptist began preaching in the wilderness of Judea between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. John’s ministry was prophesied by Isaiah many years earlier. He preached a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. His message was, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
John was an outdoorsman. His clothing was made of camel’s hair and he wore a leather belt around his waist. His diet consisted of locusts and wild honey—and he was a fiery preacher. He called sinners children of snakes and admonished them to show by their deeds, whether they had repented of their sins.
Only one event in the childhood of Jesus is recorded from the time He returned from Egypt to Nazareth until He was about thirty years old. One can speculate that He had a normal childhood playing games with His friends and going to school. Fathers taught their sons to work and Joseph taught Him the carpentry trade.
Since the Boy Jesus was the Son of God, He had a special relationship with God. Even though His childhood was probably normal, it was different in that He was sinless. One cannot imagine the Son of God in a fight or getting into trouble with His parents.
Each year, the Jews were required to attend the Feast of Passover in Jerusalem. On one of those trips, when Jesus was twelve years old, He became separated from Mary and Joseph. After the Feast had ended, His parents started on their journey home and at the end of the day, they realized that He was not with them. They frantically searched among their relatives and friends for their twelve-year-old Boy, but could not find Him. Upon returning to Jerusalem, they found Him in the temple talking with the teachers and asking them questions. His mother scolded Him, but He replied, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” At this young age, Jesus realized the importance of His spiritual life.
All that is known about Jesus from that time until age thirty is that He continued to be subject to His parents and He matured physically, mentally, socially and spiritually.
When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the wise men, he became so angry that he gave an order to kill all of the male children in the area of Bethlehem who were two years old and under. The killing of these children fulfilled a prophecy that had been made by Jeremiah many years earlier.
After the death of Herod, an angel came to Joseph in a dream and informed him that it was safe to return to Israel. Upon returning to Israel, Joseph learned that Herod’s son, Archelaus was king in Judea. He was afraid of Archelaus and after God had warned him again, he went into Galilee to Nazareth. This also fulfilled a prophecy that, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
The story is told that Herod was so wicked that he left an order for leading citizens to be executed at his death so there would be mourning instead of celebrating when he died.