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Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Emmy and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at






With numerous illustrations

[Illustration: JERUSALEM]




IN preparing this brief account of the chief incidents in Our Lord's
Life, the writer has endeavoured to keep as close as possible to the
sacred text; its divine simplicity being far preferable to any other
style of writing the story.

The easiest words and those most familiar to children have generally
been used and every effort has been made to adapt the volume to the
intelligence of the young with the view of instilling into their minds
the love of our Saviour for mankind as shown in the beautiful story of
His life.






[Illustration: KING DAVID.]

IN ages past God made the world: the earth, the sea, the hills, the
streams, the trees; the fish, birds and beasts; last of all He made
Adam, the first man, and Eve his wife, and they lived in the Garden
of Eden. They were quite good at first, but tempted by Satan they ate
the fruit of a tree God told them not to eat, and that brought sin
into the world; they could not live for ever now, they must die; but
that their souls might go to heaven, God's own Son said He would come
down on earth and die to save them. God said His Son should be born of
Abraham's nation, and should be one of the sons of the line of King
David, who sang the sweet psalms in praise of God.

Abraham was a good man, so good that God called him His friend; and
from him came the people called Jews. David was one of their kings. God
always keeps His word, but He makes men wait till it is His time to do
as He says; and it was a long, long time after Abraham and David that
our Lord came to live among men.

At last God sent His angel Gabriel to a young maiden, named Mary, who
lived at a town called Nazareth, to tell her that God loved her, and
that she should have God's Son for her own son. Our Lord would be her
little babe. When Mary saw the angel she was at first afraid, but he
said to her, "Fear not, Mary," and he told her that she must call the
child's name Jesus - that means Saviour - for He would save the people
from their sins. Then Mary must have been glad. She said, "I am God's
servant; may His will be done." Mary was to be the wife of her cousin
Joseph - they were both of David's family - so the angel went and told
him too, that Mary should have God's Son for her own, and that he must
call the child Jesus.

Joseph and Mary lived at Nazareth. At that time the Jews were ruled
over by the Romans, whose king was called C├Žsar. He wanted to know how
many people there were in that land, so he said all the men and women
of it must go to their own towns to be counted. Now Mary and Joseph's
town was Bethlehem. It was a great way off, but they had to go. It took
days and days to get there, for they went slowly, and when at last they
came to the town they found the inn full; there was no room for them,
and they had to go to a stable to sleep and eat and drink.

And that night God sent Mary her Son. She had no nice cradle to lay
the Lord in, but she had some clothes to put on Him, so she wrapped the
sweet babe in them, and laid Him in a manger, where the ox and the ass


How good it was of our Lord to be born a poor child for our sakes, was
it not? He was the Son of God, but to save men He came down and was a
babe in a stable of Bethlehem.

Winter had come, the snow was on the hills near Bethlehem, and some
shepherds were keeping watch over their flocks at night for fear the
wolves or bears should come and hurt them, when suddenly they saw a
great light in the dark sky, and from it a bright angel came down close
to them, and they were much afraid. But the angel said, "Fear not, for
I bring you good tidings" - that is, news - "of great joy which shall be
to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David,
a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this is how you will know
Him: you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a
manger." And then a great many angels came out of the light and sang,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace; good-will to men."
The song ended, they went back to heaven, and the shepherds said, "Let
us go to Bethlehem, and see this great thing of which the Lord has told
us." And they made haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying
in a manger. And the shepherds praised God, and told the people all
that they had seen and heard. The Son of God had no nice soft cradle
as you had; He was laid in a manger from which the ox and ass fed: He
chose to be a poor child for our sakes.


Mary gave the name of Jesus to the babe as God had told her, and when
He was six weeks old she and Joseph brought Him to God's Temple to
present Him to the Lord, and to give two doves to show her thanks for
the child God had sent to her. There was an old and good man at that
time, to whom God had promised that he should not die till he had seen
the Lord's Son; and now God's Holy Spirit told him that the Child was
in the Temple; and the old man, Simeon, went there and took the Babe
in his arms, and thanked God, and said that now he should die in peace,
for he had seen the Saviour. And Simeon blessed Joseph and Mary, but
he told her that men would speak ill of her Child. Then a good old
woman - her name was Anna - came in; she was day and night praying in the
Temple, and God let her, too, know that this Child was God's Son, come
to save men; and she was glad, and gave God thanks, and told every one
that the Christ was come.


The word Christ means anointed - that is, touched with oil, as kings and
priests were - and the Jews always spoke of the Saviour who was to come
as "the Christ," or "King."

Then Mary took the Child back to Bethlehem.

Now there were some Wise Men who lived a long way off, and who knew a
great deal about the stars. At that time all the world expected that
Christ would come, and these wise men had heard that when He was born
they would see a new star. One night they saw a bright one that they
did not know, and it shone over the land of the Jews. So they set off
at once to go and see the new-born King. It was a long way to go; they
rode across the sands on camels, and went on and on to where the star
shone. At last they came to Jerusalem, and they asked the people,
"Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star
in the east, and are come to worship him."

[Illustration: ARRIVAL OF THE WISE MEN.]

Now at that time the Romans had made a very bad, cruel man, whose name
was Herod, King of the Jews. When he heard of the wise men and of what
they wanted to know, he was troubled; for he was afraid if the great
King was born that he (Herod) would not be King any longer. So he sent
for the chief priests and asked them where God had said that the Christ
should be born. He did not know himself, for he was not a Jew. And the
priests said that Christ should be born in the little town of Bethlehem.

Then Herod sent for the wise men and asked them when they first saw
the star; and he sent them to Bethlehem and said: "When you have found
the young Child bring me word, that I may come and worship Him too."

[Illustration: THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT.]

But the cruel King meant to kill the Babe if he found him. Then the
wise men went to Bethlehem, and to their great joy, the star that they
saw in the east went before them till it came and stood over where the
young Child was.

Then the wise men went in, and saw the young Child and Mary his mother,
and they fell down and worshipped Him, and gave Him rich gifts - gold
and a sweet scent, and myrrh, which is a kind of gum. But God told
them, in a dream, not to return to Herod, so they went back to their
own land by another way. And when they were gone, the angel of the Lord
came to Joseph in a dream, and told him to rise, and take the young
Child and His mother and flee into Egypt, for Herod would seek for the
Babe to kill Him. Joseph rose at once, though it was night, and took
the Child and His mother and made haste to go to Egypt.

[Illustration: THE SEA OF GALILEE.]

King Herod was very angry when he knew that the wise men were gone
home, and he sent and had all the babes in Bethlehem killed, from quite
babies up to two years old. He thought, thus, that he would be sure to
kill the Holy Child, but God did not let him, you know.

When this cruel King died, an angel came and told Joseph to take the
Child back again into His own land. And Joseph took Him and Mary,
and they went to live at Nazareth, a town on the shore of the Sea of

[Illustration: JESUS IN THE TEMPLE.]

And the Child grew strong and full of wisdom, and the grace of God was
on him. And when He was twelve years old, He went up with Mary and
Joseph to Jerusalem, to keep the Passover - this was a feast that God
had commanded the Jews to keep, to remind them that He had saved them
from death, and set them free when they were slaves in Egypt. They ate
a lamb at it, and drank some wine. When the feast was over, Mary and
Joseph went on their way home, but Jesus stayed behind in the city.
There were so many people going to Galilee that Mary did not miss her
son till night; then she went to look for Him, for she thought He must
be with some friends; but she could not find Him, and in great fear,
she and Joseph went back to the city to seek for Him. They did not find
Him for three days, and then they went to the Temple, and there He was
in the midst of the priests and learned men, listening to them, and
asking them questions. And they were all much surprised at his great
sense and wise answers. His mother, also, was amazed; but she said to
Him, "Son, why have you done this? your father and I have sought You
sorrowing." And He said to them, "How is it that you sought me? Did
you not know that I must do My Father's business?" He meant "God's
business," but they did not know the meaning of His words. Then He went
home with them and obeyed them, and was a good, kind Son; but His
mother kept all these things in her heart. Jesus has shown all children
how to behave to their parents; to obey them and be kind to them as He

[Illustration: THE RIVER JORDAN.]

Now about fifteen years after this time there came a man in the wild
part of the land, by the river Jordan, who cried to the people,
"Repent," that is, "Be sorry for your sins and be good," "for the
Kingdom of Heaven is near." This man's name was John, and he was the
cousin of Jesus. He wore only a rough robe of camel's hair and a belt
of leather round his waist; he had never tasted wine; he fed on insects
called locusts, and wild honey.

Then all the people of Jerusalem, and in all the places near, came to
John, and said how sorry they were for their sins, and he baptized them
in the Jordan - that is, he poured water on their heads as they stood
in the stream as a sign that God would wash their sins away - that is,
forgive them. But he told them all that he was not the Christ who was
to come. He said he was only a Voice to call them from their bad ways
and make them ready for the One that was to come, whose shoes he was
not good enough to untie. At last, one day, Jesus came to be baptized,
but John, who knew how good He was, said, "No, I need to be baptized
by You. Why do You come to me?" But Jesus said, "It was right to do
so," and then John obeyed Him and baptized Him. Our Lord had no sins to
be forgiven, but He wished to set us an example, always to do right.
And as He came up out of the river, the heavens opened, and the Spirit
of God, like a dove, came down and rested on Him, and there came a
voice from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son in Whom I am well
pleased." Then John knew that Jesus was God's Son - the Christ.

After He had been baptized, Our Lord went into the wild country, or
wilderness, for forty days, and was tempted by the wicked spirit,
called the Devil. To tempt any one is to try and make him wicked; but
the devil could not make our Lord say or do a wrong thing, although he
tried in every way that he possibly could, and so he left Him.

But Jesus came back to John the Baptist, and as He came near the
river, John said to those who stood by him, "Behold the Lamb of God
that taketh away the sin of the world." And he told them how he knew
that Jesus was the Son of God, by the voice from heaven and the dove
coming down on Him. Again, the next day as John stood with two of his
disciples - that means, men who were taught by him - Jesus came near, and
John said, "Behold the Lamb of God." And then the two disciples of John
followed Jesus. He turned and saw them, and said, "What seek ye?" They
said, "Master, where do You live?" And He said, "Come and see," and He
took them to His house, and they stayed with Him all day. Now one of
them was called Andrew. He was so sure that Our Lord was Christ, the
Son of God, that he went and found his own brother, Simon, and brought
him to hear and know this great teacher. A good brother or sister will
always try to make his or her own brother know and love Our Lord.


The next day Our Lord told Philip to follow Him. And Philip went to
his friend Nathanael, and said to him, "We have found the Lord who is
Christ, He is Jesus of Nazareth." Nathanael said, "Can any good thing
come out of Nazareth?" for Nazareth was a very bad town. Philip said,
"Come and see." He knew that if his friend saw and heard Jesus he
would love Him. So he brought Nathanael to Our Lord, and Jesus said,
"Here is a very good, true man." Nathanael said, "How do You know me?"
Jesus said, "Before Philip called you I saw you when you were under the
fig-tree." God can see us always. So then Nathanael knew that Jesus
must be the Son of God - the King - for only the Son of God could have
seen him so far off; and he stayed with Our Lord as the others did.

Now Jesus had five disciples with Him, and He left the shores of the
Jordan and went with his friends, John, Andrew, Peter, Philip, and
Nathanael, to a town called Cana.

And three days after they came to it, there was to be a wedding in
Cana. The mother of Jesus was there, and Our Lord and His disciples
were invited to the marriage. Now, you know the Lord Jesus and His
mother were poor, and no doubt the people who gave the feast were also
poor, for they had not enough wine to last till the end; and when there
was not any more the mother of Jesus went to Him and said, "They have
no wine." Jesus did not say at once, "I will give them some;" He said,
"What have I to do with thee? My time has not yet come." But His mother
believed that He would help all the same; she knew how good and kind He
was. So she said to the servants, "Do what He tells you."

Now there were some large stone jars or pots in the room used for
holding water, and Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the water-pots
with water." And they filled them up to the brim. And then Our Lord
told them to pour it out and take it to the man who was ruler of the
feast; for the Jews used to get a friend to see that things went right
at their feasts, and he was called the governor or ruler.


Now Our Lord had changed the water into wine, and when the ruler of
the feast had tasted it he sent for the bridegroom, and said to him,
"You have kept the good wine till now," for it was very good wine. But
the servants knew that it had been water, and they told every one that
Jesus had made it wine. This was the first miracle - that is, wonderful
thing - that Our Lord did before all the people. It was a great miracle;
and when His disciples saw it they were sure that He must be the Christ.

Why did our Lord do this wonderful thing? To be kind, and to show men
that He was God. There are things men cannot do; but God can do them,
and when Jesus did them He showed men that He was God.

Soon after this, Our Lord went up to Jerusalem to keep the Passover. He
went to the Temple - God's house in which He was worshipped; and where
every day they killed a lamb and burnt it on the altar. The lamb was
offered up that God might forgive the sins of the people. So when John
the Baptist said, "Here is the Lamb of God," he meant that Our Lord
would die, as the Temple Lamb did, to save men from their sins.


But when our Lord came into the Temple He was very angry. For He saw in
it oxen and sheep, doves and pigeons waiting to be sold to people for
sacrifice, and tables with heaps of money on them that came from all
lands; for the men whose the tables were, changed the gold of far off
countries for the Jew's money. Do you not think it was very wrong of
men to bring oxen, and lambs, and money to change into God's House? Our
Lord was very angry to see it. He made a whip of small cords and drove
out the oxen and sheep; and He upset the tables of money, and the seats
of those who sold doves, and said, "Take these things away. Do not make
my Father's house a place to buy and sell in."

The men whom the Lord drove out were very angry, but they knew that
He was quite right, and so they did not strive against Him. But the
priests, who ought not to have allowed such things, came to Jesus and
said, "Give us some sign, you have a right to do this." They meant, do
some miracle.

But our Lord would not do a miracle for them. He said the only sign
that should be given them was, that if they killed Him He would rise
again in three days. But they did not know what His words meant.

While Jesus was here a very good and wise rich man, named Nicodemus,
came to see Him by night. He did not go to see Jesus in the daytime,
because he was afraid of the Jews; but Our Lord taught him a great many
things. Among others, that God so loved the World that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whosoever believed in Him should not perish, but
have everlasting life. For God sent His Son into the World that through
Him it might be saved.


Then Jesus left the City, and went about teaching and doing good,
healing the sick, making the blind see, and the deaf hear, and so He
came to Samaria. Now the Jews hated the people who lived there; and the
Samaritans hated the Jews. Our Lord never hated any one. He loved both
the good and the bad, and came to save all. Of course God loves good
men or good children best; Our Lord loved His Apostle John best of
all, but He does good to all men, and lets His sun shine on all alike.

One day Our Lord was very tired; He had been teaching the poor and
making the sick well, and He had walked a long way, and He wanted food.
So He sat down on the stone edge of an old well in Samaria, while the
disciples went to buy food, and while He sat there a woman came from
the town with a jug to draw water. And Jesus said to her, "Give me some
to drink." But she said, "How is it that you, who are a Jew, ask me,
who am a Samaritan, for drink? for the Jews will not have anything to
do with the Samaritans." Jesus told her that if she had but known Who
it was that asked her for drink, she would have begged Him to give her
living water. The woman said, "You have not anything to draw the water
in, and the well is deep. How can you get living water? Are you greater
than our father, Jacob, who gave us this well?" But Our Lord told her
that they who drank the water of that well would be thirsty again;
but that if she drank of the water He could give her she should never
thirst; it should give her life that would not end.

What did Our Lord mean by living water? He meant God's grace - that
is - God's help to make us good. The woman did not know what He meant,
so she said, "Give me this water that I may not have to come here to
draw any more." Then Our Lord told her of her sins; He knew that she
was not good; He knew all her past life, and He told her about God, and
that He must be worshipped in spirit and in truth. The woman said, "I
know that Christ will come soon, and He will tell us all things."

Think how glad she must have been when Our Lord said, "I, that speak
unto you, am He."

Just then His disciples came, and they wondered that He talked to a
Samaritan woman. She left her water-pot, and went to tell her friends,
and to ask them to come and see Jesus. The disciples said to Our Lord,
"Master, eat;" they had brought food; but Jesus cared more to do God's
work than to eat, though He was hungry.

The woman brought many of the people of the town to Our Lord, and they
believed that He was the Christ, and begged that He would stay with
them and teach them; and He did stay there for two days. How good our
Lord was to stay and teach these poor men, to whom the proud Jews would
not even speak. Then Jesus went to Cana again where He had made the
water into wine; and a rich man who had a young son very ill came to
Him and begged Him to make his child well.


Our Lord wanted to try the man's faith, so He did not say, "Yes, I
will," at once. He said, "If you do not see signs and wonders you will
not believe." But the man said again, "Sir, do come down or my son will
be dead." Our Lord pitied him and said, "Go thy way, thy son liveth."

[Illustration: JESUS AND THE RICH MAN.]

Jesus could cure the sick boy without seeing him. The rich man had
faith; he believed Our Lord's words and went his way, but before he
reached his house his servants met him, and said, "Your son is getting
well." "When did he begin to get better?" asked the father. "Yesterday,
at the seventh hour, the fever left him," they said. Then the father
knew that it was at the very same hour that Our Lord spoke that his
son was made well. And now Our Lord came to Nazareth where He had
been brought up, and He went into the synagogue - that is the Jews'
chapel - on the seventh day and He stood up to read. The priest gave
Him the book. It was that part of the Bible where God told men what
Christ would do when He came, how He would teach men, and comfort sad
people, and make blind men see. And when Our Lord had read it He gave
the book back to the priest, and said, "All this has come true to-day."
And He told them that He was the Christ. At first they liked to hear
Him preach, for His words and voice were sweet; but when He told them
that He was Christ they grew very angry, and said, "Is not this the
carpenter's son? He is not Christ;" and they got up and dragged Our
Lord out of the town to the edge of the hill on which their city was
built, that they might cast Him down headlong and kill Him. But it was
not the time Jesus meant to die, so He made them not able to see Him,
and He walked through the midst of them and went away.


You see what bad men lived in Nazareth. They drove away the good,
gentle Lord, who came to save them from their sins, because they were
proud and jealous of Him; and He never again came to teach them. He
went down to Capernaum, another town by the Sea of Galilee, and taught
there and did many miracles, and it was called His Town.

Our Lord had not His disciples always with Him yet; John and James and
Andrew and Peter had gone back to their boats to fish; but now Jesus
wished them to be always with Him, so He called them again. I will
tell you how. One day when Jesus was on the sea-shore, such crowds of
people came to hear Him speak to them that there was not room, and they
pressed upon Him. There were two large boats close to the shore; the
fishers had gone out of them and were washing their nets; so our Lord
went into one of them, which was Peter's, and asked him to push the
boat a little way out from the land. Then He sat down and taught the
people from the boat. And when He had done speaking, He said to Peter,
"Pull out into the deep water and let down your nets to catch some
fish." But Peter said, "Master, we have toiled all night and have not
caught one fish; but still at Thy word I will let down the net." Peter

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Online LibraryAnonymousThe Life of Our Lord in Simple Language for Little Children → online text (page 1 of 4)