Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Jesus Christ
Without a doubt, Jesus is the most recognized figure in human history. No one has ever been more frequently mentioned, painted, written about, and sung to than him. Even our calendar is based upon his birth and death. But despite being the most famous, many people today still don’t know much about him, except that he lived in Nazareth, baptized by John the Baptist, walked on water, performed miracles, crucified on a cross, and then rose from the dead.
In fact, even devoted Christians are not that familiar about his life and are still being surprised when they read something new about him. Well, thanks to our dedicated researchers and advances in historical research because today, more is known about the life and work of Him. With that in mind, here are ten things you probably didn’t know about the most recognized figure in history.
10. Jesus Didn’t Know Everything.
We all know that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God. And since God is all-powerful and all-knowing, many Christians believe that Jesus was also omniscient like Him, which means He knows everything, including the future. But what most people don’t realize is that although He was divine, Jesus didn’t possess unlimited knowledge.
There were certain events in the Bible proving that Jesus’ human knowledge is limited. In the age of 12, Jesus was found in the temple listening to what was being taught by the teachers and asking them questions (Luke 2:46). He also had to learn obedience (Hebrews 5:8), grow in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:52), and rely on the Father in all things. Just like us, Jesus also had to learn everything that other people have to learn.
There’s also one interesting story in the Bible showing the limited knowledge of Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Mark reveals that when Jesus was hungry and saw a fig tree, He went to it to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; but when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, since it was not the season for figs (Mark 11:12-13). With these verses alone, we could confirm that Jesus’ knowledge is really limited. Because if he is truly filled in wisdom, why would He mistakenly expected the tree to have fruits?
And finally, the Bible reveals that even before the day of His arrest, Jesus didn’t know the precise day and hour of His return (Matthew 24:36).
In sum, Jesus of Nazareth, although was fully divine, was not all-knowing like His Father.
- Jesus Paid Taxes.
According to the 2013 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans (56%) hate doing their taxes. In fact, Americans are growing increasingly frustrated with our country’s complex and unfair tax system. Some people hate taxes because they feel that they are overtaxed, and never see results. First, there are federal income taxes, then state income taxes. Then there are also city taxes, social security taxes, medicare taxes, and property taxes. Not to mention the taxes you pay on utility bills, grocery items, and gas. The list just goes on and on. In fact, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is probably the most hated government agency in the U.S.
But as much as we hate taxes and as much as we believe the tax system is unfair, the Bible commands us to pay our taxes. In Romans 13:5-7, Paul made it clear that it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not because of possible punishment, but also because of conscience…if you owe taxes, pay taxes. In fact, even Jesus paid taxes during His time. In the Gospel of Matthew, when the tax collectors came to Peter and asked him if his teacher pay the temple tax, he replied, “Yes, He does.” (Matthew 17:24-25)
Although we think that our tax money is being spent unnecessarily, such as by buying new police uniforms, paying researchers to play video games, spending money on research to help Americans find love, funding a program to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly, and promoting a fruit show in Indonesia, the Bible is clear in its instruction that we need to pay taxes. After all, the way how the government use its fund is already not of our concern. When Paul instructed people to pay taxes, Nero was the head of the government. And we know that Nero was one of the most evil Roman emperors in history. Therefore, even when our government is not God-honoring, we still need to pay our taxes accordingly. But of course, we can still do things to reduce our tax burden, but remember to do that in legal way.
Romans 13:2 reminds us that “whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”
- Religious Leaders Wanted Jesus Killed.
Years ago, most businesses were closed on Sundays. In fact, most states required every store and event center to be closed on this special day (known as blue laws) because it was recognized as a day of worship. Any person, who violates any provision of this law, would be fined a substantial amount, locked up in jail, or in grievous cases, punished by death. Today, most states and localities no longer observe blue laws, but some are still enforcing it.
Well, as strange as it may seem to us today, when Jesus lived here on earth, many activities were also forbidden by Jewish law on Sabbath day – the time to worship God. So if you will ask, why religious leaders wanted to kill Jesus, it was because Jesus broke a lot of laws regarding how Sabbath should be observed. First, He forgave sins (Matthew 9:1-2). Second, He healed a man (Matthew 12:9-14). Third, He claimed that He was sent by God (John 8:42). Then, He claimed that He was God (John 10:30). Of course, there were still other things that He did that caused the religious leaders to desire to kill him, such as healing demon-possessed man, driving moneychangers out of the temple, and socializing with sinners. These things were considered blasphemy; and during those times, blasphemy was a very serious crime.
If you were a Pharisee or you lived back then, would you accept and support Jesus?
- Jesus Was Born In A House.
The typical scene that we picture every time we imagine the place where Jesus was born is a stable or barn with three wise men and farm animals. But is this what really the Bible says?
Most of us are having a difficult time imagining a place that is so unfamiliar to us; so the tendency when we read a Bible or any story book, we just rely on the words written to picture the scene that is being described. This is the very reason why when we read Luke 2:7 “and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger”…we naturally assume a barn or stable – because of the word ‘manger’.
But according to research, Jesus wasn’t born in a stable. According to our Bible archaeological experts, Jesus was probably born in the house of relatives because the Greek word kataluma, which was used in the Scripture, means inn or guest room. In fact, Luke uses the same word when referring to the place where Jesus and His disciples observed the Last Supper.
Joseph and Mary travelled to town to stay in a relative’s home, where Mary could deliver the child safely. However, when they arrived at Joseph’s ancestral home, they probably found it full so they just crashed in the lower floor, where animals are kept at night. In the ancient world and primitive modern cultures, mangers are built within the house, so animals can be protected from heat, cold, or theft. So, when Joseph and Mary didn’t find a space upstairs, they just stayed downstairs, where the ancestral family’s manger was located.
- Jesus Was Born Of A Virgin.
Some people are having a hard time believing in Virgin Birth. But if you believe in Bible, you also need to believe in the Virgin Birth – that Jesus was miraculously conceived in the womb of Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:23). It may seem a bit hard to imagine, but we all know that with God, nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). After all, isn’t it that already possible today? Since the introduction of in vitro fertilization in 1978, it has been possible for nearly any individual to give birth without sexual intercourse.
But of course, in terms of the birth of Jesus, the Bible makes it clear that it was the Lord himself, and not some high-paid OB/GYN, who performed the miracle of incarnation. In Luke 1:35 Gabriel said, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; so the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”
Sure, the incarnation of Jesus Christ still remains a mystery to all of us, but if you’ll think it over, what God did make sense. If God had chosen to, He could have just sent Jesus to this world as a fully grown and sinless man. He could have just raised His hands until lighting sparks from his fingers and commanded Jesus to descend to the ground and save the Earth. But He didn’t do that, because He knew that if Jesus came to us in that way, we wouldn’t relate to Him as a person, and most of all, we wouldn’t understand the real purpose of why He was sent here on earth.
- Jesus Family Tree Included Murderers, Prostitutes, Liars, And Everything In Between.
Do you know your family history? It is true that every family has secrets. Some can be small and insignificant, but others are painful and embarrassing that you wish would stay under wraps for good. Probably, you have discovered that you have an unfaithful uncle, an alcoholic aunt, or a prostitute cousin.
Well, I know some of my relatives, who are gambling addicts, and for that, I feel so ashamed and embarrassed. Of course, I’m expecting that my family tree is perfect, or at least it includes a lot of amazing people. But I guess, that’s what really life is. All of us don’t have a perfect family because first of all, we are not perfect. In fact, Jesus came from a messed-up family too! His genealogy (Matthew 1:1-16) included prostitutes, liars, adulterers, cheaters, and even murderers.
The imperfect family tree of Jesus reminds us that no matter what you’ve done in your life or what your family history may be, there’s a room for all of us in God’s family.
- Jesus Had A Sense Of Humor.
I am often amazed to see the reaction of people when I tell them the idea of Jesus laughing. In fact, there’s one time that I showed a picture of Him laughing to one of my friends, and when she saw it, she had that weird expression on her face while saying, “Oh no, there’s no way Jesus would laugh like that!”
Well, it’s natural for us to react that way when we are asked about the idea of Jesus laughing, since we are used to seeing pictures of Christ nailed to the cross with gloomy and sad facial expression. While it’s true that Jesus suffered, crucified, and wept (John 11:35) , this doesn’t mean that Jesus never had a lighthearted moment, or He never laughed. The Bible says that Jesus was fully human (John 1:14) – He got tired, He got hungry, He got thirsty, and He died just like everybody else. And the fact that Jesus felt all range of human emotions indicates that He laughed, too!
A glimpse of Jesus’ sense of humor can be discovered in these famous verses in Matthew. He said, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Taken literally, these verses seem funny and silly. Just imagine a man with a big piece of wood in his eye! Of course, this is humor with a purpose – but regardless, it’s still humor. And that’s exactly the point. Jesus encouraged laughter.
Sure, there’s no verse in the Bible that says ‘Jesus laughed’, but this doesn’t prove that He never did it. After all, there are no verses in the Scripture that specifically say Jesus took a bath, brushed His teeth, or shampooed His hair, right?
- Jesus had short hair.
No one knows for certain the actual looks of Jesus Christ, but He is often depicted in paintings with blue eyes, long beard, and long, flowing hair. This can probably be attributed to the earliest Christian paintings that came out in the 15th century, which were purely artists’ conceptions. This Jesus was their imagination of Him, and not the Jesus of the Bible. The Scripture contains no reference to His appearance, much less a description of him; so we have no way of knowing what He really looked like.
However, the Bible tells something about ‘hair’ that might be helpful to us. One verse of special interest is 1 Corinthians 11:14, where Paul said, “Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him?” While Paul’s statement doesn’t exactly indicate the length of Jesus’ hair, he does reveal that Jesus had likely short hair than Jewish females during His time here on earth. Although there were some notable men in the Bible with long hair, such as Samson and John the Baptist, Jewish men traditionally kept their hair shorter than Jewish women.
But of course, as with the color of His eyes or size of His beard, the length of His hair ultimately doesn’t matter. He came here on earth to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).
- Jesus Spoke In Parables So People Would Not Understand.
As we all know, much of what Jesus taught to people during His time came in the form of parables. A parable is often described as an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Most people find them to be confusing, so they often ask, why didJesus speak in parables? But believe it or not, that’s exactly the point why Jesus taught in parables – to cause confusion. In fact, even His disciples were confused when Jesus started telling the Parable of the Sower. They asked, “Why do You speak to the people in parables?” (Matthew 13:10).
Jesus’ answer to their question was quite revealing, He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them…In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.” (Matthew 13:11,14,15).
Even though confusing, Jesus’ intention of speaking parables was not to withhold the truth from us, but to conceal it from the minds of people who have no right to it. He also taught in parables so that people, who are interested in understanding the truth of His words, would understand clearly. He greatly desires that we turn to Him and hunger for more of Him. The Bible clearly says that “if you seek, you will find” (Deuteronomy 4:29).
- Jesus Didn’t Want To Suffer And Die.
Jesus was fully divine, but He was also human. And just like any human being, Jesus didn’t want to die – He didn’t want to suffer from beating, torturing, and carrying the cross in harsh sunlight. Wherever angle you look, thinking about the idea of death is truly terrifying. In fact, before Jesus’ arrest, He prayed hard in the garden of Gethsemane and asked God, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” (Matthew 26:39). No one would definitely want to suffer and die.
But eventually, Jesus accepted His faith because He knew that it was His Father’s will. Although He didn’t want to face agony and pain, He whole-heartedly followed His Father’s desire. He knew that the only way to save the people is for Him to give His life for them.
Indeed, there are so many things that we still don’t know about the life of our ultimate Savior. Well of course, I know that some of you will not believe some of the things mentioned above. But regardless of what you think or what you believe, one thing is for sure: Jesus lived.