The name, “Jesus” means in Hebrew, “GOD saves”.

In His name is His mission and identity. Since God alone can forgive sins, it is God who, in Jesus his eternal Son made man, “will save his people from their sins,” in Jesus, God recapitulates all of his history of salvation on behalf of men.

(C.C.C. 2. 430)



  • Jesus lived from 6 or 4 B.C. to A.D. 30 or 33 in Palestine, a Mideast country that was occupied by Rome during his lifetime.
  • Hometown: Nazareth
  • He spoke Aramaic and probably also Hebrew and Greek.
  • We know him by his Greek name (Iesous) and not his Jewish name (Jeshua).
  • Jesus was Jewish. He attended the local synagogue, observed the Sabbath and Jewish feast days, and prayed three times a day: in the morning, at three in the afternoon, and at sunset.
  • Because Jesus was Jewish, he most likely had dark hair, brown eyes, and olive-colored skin.
  • His mother was Mary (or Miriam). She was married to Joseph, known as the foster father of Jesus. Joseph was of the tribe of Judah, the family of King David. He was a carpenter, which can mean a craftsman or a builder.


Jesus was like us in all things except sin. The Gospels, which contain the story of his life, show this. Jesus experienced growth and temptations. He had friends and enjoyed parties. Jesus had emotions. He showed compassion for the widow whose only son had died, and he cried at the tomb of his friend Lazarus. He delighted in blessing the children and became angry at the people who did not show respect for the Temple, God’s house. He felt pain and knew death.


Historical records refer to Jesus Christ. For instance, Josephus, a Jewish historian, mentioned him in his writings in about A.D. 95. Another historian, Tacitus, in about A.D. 115 reported on the Roman fire thought to have been started by Nero but blamed on Christians. He wrote: “Christus, from whom the name [Christian] has its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilate.”


The Gospels report that Jesus was crucified by the Romans. Roman crucifixions were meant to guarantee death for the victim. Some Jewish leaders believed Jesus blasphemed by saying he was the Son of God. A sign posted on his cross to declare his crime read “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews.”

Three days later, his followers saw him alive and present to them in a new and transformed way. He appeared to at least 500 different people after his resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15: 5-6)


We believe that Jesus is truly God and truly human.


By Brian Bartholomew Tan

Source: Loyola Press