Jesus is a Mystery

The central mystery of the Christian faith is Jesus Christ, Son of God, our Lord and Savior.

The Evangelists each offer a different picture of Jesus. Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the synoptic Gospel writers, record the earthly life and teachings of Jesus. The Apostle Matthew described him as the Messiah so long awaited by the people of Israel, and recorded his Sermon on the Mount. Mark’s Gospel began with Jesus, the Son of God, proclaiming the Kingdom of God “is at hand.” The human emotional side of Jesus is perhaps best portrayed in the Gospel of Mark. The physician Luke, one of Paul’s companions on his journeys, began his Gospel with the Virgin birth of Jesus conceived by the Holy Spirit. The three Parables unique to Luke reveal the mercy of God through the Parables of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son, and his justice through the Parable of Lazarus and the rich man.

The Apostle John concerned himself with the spirit in his Gospel, three Letters, and the Book of Revelation. For John it was the mystery of the Incarnation, who Christ was. Jesus, whom the Apostles had known and followed for three years, was at the same time the Son of God and the Word made Flesh, a human as the rest of us. This principle of the Incarnation introduced in the Prologue became the guiding theme for John’s entire Gospel, so that we must distinguish throughout the life of Jesus his human aspect and the mystery of “the Son who comes from the Father”, a mystery that reveals itself in the man Jesus.

St. Paul knew only the risen Christ. Struck down as Saul, the Pharisee who had been so passionate in his persecution of Christians, Paul was saved by Christ himself! He then became just as passionate in spreading Christianity, with his letters and three missionary journeys from Antioch to the European world of the time. It was thus natural for Paul, the man saved by Jesus, to write of Christ as Redeemer and Savior, to see the Cross and Resurrection as salvation for mankind.

Peter and his brother Andrew were the first two Apostles to follow Jesus. Peter was the first to recognize Jesus as the Christ, the long-awaited Messiah. Peter was made the “rock” upon which Jesus built his Church. Peter also denied Jesus three times, then broke down and wept. Inspired by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, he became a dynamic evangelist, as described in the Acts of the Apostles. After preaching in Jerusalem, he established the Church in Antioch, before he became the first Bishop of Rome. Peter sees Jesus as the model for all Christians in his two letters.

The Apostles James and Jude Thaddeus were the two final New Testament writers, each contributing one letter each to the catholic (universal) letters. Their letters are pastoral in nature, calling upon early Christians to be faithful followers of Christ through their conduct and performance of good works.

It is important for you, the reader, to see for yourself.
This site offers the Eight Beatitudes of Jesus and his Seven Words on the Cross on separate pages.
This page includes passages by and about Jesus, which help us to appreciate that “God is Love.”

“Ask and it will be given to you;
Seek and you will find;
Knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks finds,
and to him who knocks, it will be opened.”
Gospel of Matthew 7:7-8

THE GOLDEN RULE“So whatever you wish that men would do to you,
do so to them;
for this is the law and the prophets.”
Gospel of Matthew 7:12

“He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
‘Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.'”
Gospel of Matthew 18:2-5

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.”
Gospel of Matthew 18:20

FINAL JUDGEMENT“Truly I say to you,
as you did it to one of the least of my brethren,
you did it to me.”
Gospel of Matthew 25:40

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand;
repent, and believe in the Gospel.”
Gospel of Mark 1:15

“If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
For whoever would save his life will lose it;
and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.
For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?
Gospel of Mark 8:34-36

THE SECOND COMING“And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.”Gospel of Mark 13:26-27

THE LAST SUPPER“And as they were eating, he took bread, and blessed, and broke it,
and gave it to them, and said,
“Take; this is my body.”
“And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them,
and they all drank of it. And he said to them,
“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.
Truly, I say to you, I shall not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
Gospel of Mark 14:22-25

THE GREATEST COMMANDMENTAnd behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying,
“Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read?”
And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your strength,
and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
And he said to him, “You have answered right; do this, and you will live.”
Gospel of Luke 10:25-28

THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITANBut he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, `Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’
Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Gospel of Luke 10:29-37

THE PROLOGUE OF JOHNIn the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God;
all things were made through him,
and without him was not anything made that was made.
In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.

The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world was made through him,
yet the world knew him not.
He came to his own home, and his own people received him not.
But to all who received him, who believed in his name,
he gave power to become children of God;
who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh
nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father.
Gospel of John 1:1-14

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
Gospel of John 3:16

“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”Gospel of John 8:32

“And now I will no longer be in the world,
but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.
Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are.”
Gospel of John 17:11

Mark Haddad - The Crucifixion of Jesus, 2002

THE PASSION, DEATH, AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS“Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas to them and, after he had Jesus scourged, handed him over to be crucified. The soldiers led him away inside the palace, that is, the praetorium, and assembled the whole cohort. They clothed him in purple and, weaving a crown of thorns, placed it on him. They began to salute him with, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and kept striking his head with a reed and spitting upon him. They knelt before him in homage. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak, dressed him in his own clothes, and led him out to crucify him. They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. They brought him to the place of Golgotha (translated Place of the Skull). They gave him wine drugged with myrrh, but he did not take it. Then they crucified him and divided his garments by casting lots for them to see what each should take.

It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. The inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” With him they crucified two revolutionaries, one on his right and one on his left. Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself by coming down from the cross.” Likewise the chief priests, with the scribes, mocked him among themselves and said, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also kept abusing him. At noon darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.

And at three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Some of the bystanders who heard it said, “Look, he is calling Elijah.” One of them ran, soaked a sponge with wine, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to take him down.” Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.

The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he breathed his last he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

There were also women looking on from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and of Joses, and Salome. These women had followed him when he was in Galilee and ministered to him. There were also many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem. When it was already evening, since it was the day of preparation, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a distinguished member of the council, who was himself awaiting the kingdom of God, came and courageously went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate was amazed that he was already dead. He summoned the centurion and asked him if Jesus had already died. And when he learned of it from the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. Having bought a linen cloth, he took him down, wrapped him in the linen cloth and laid him in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses watched where he was laid.

And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back; it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.”
Gospel of Mark 15:15-46 and 16:1-7

APPEARANCES ON THE ROAD TO EMMAUS AND JERUSALEMThat very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; and they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said; but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, but they constrained him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight.

They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, who said, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

“And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, who said, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

As they were saying this, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” But they were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them. Then he said to them, “These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”
Gospel of Luke 24:13-48

Michelangelo - The Conversion of Paul

THE CONVERSION OF SAUL“But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him,
“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
And he said, “Who are you, Lord?”
And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting;
but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”
The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.”
Acts of the Apostles 9:1-7

Then Peter proceeded to speak and said,
“In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.
Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.”
Acts of the Apostles 10:34-35

“If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Epistle of Paul to the Romans 10:9

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received,
that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures,
that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures,
and that he appeared to Peter, then to the twelve.”
First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 15:3-5

He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation;
for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities –
all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the church;
he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven,
making peace by the blood of his cross.
Colossians 1:15-20

“This is good and pleasing to God our savior,
who wills everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
who gave himself as a ransom for all”
First Letter of Paul to Timothy 2:3-6

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,
that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.
By his wounds you have been healed.”
1 Peter 2:24

“God is love.
In this the love of God was made manifest among us,
that God sent his only Son into the world,
so that we might live through Him.”
1 John 4:8-9


Scroll to Top