Getting to Know Jesus: Where to Start Reading in the Bible First

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If you’re new to Christianity, and would like to understand more about who Jesus Christ was and some of his most well-known teachings, here are some passages from the New Testament of the Bible to begin reading first.

Getting to know Jesus

While you could, of course, begin getting to know all about Jesus by simply starting from the first page of the New Testament and reading through to the end.

However, that may be a lot for someone new, especially someone exploring Christianity and curious to know why so many worldwide love and follow Jesus. An introduction to Jesus may be a good starting point.

Here are some selected passages and why you should read them without that in mind.

  1. Loving God and others

Where: Matthew 22:35-40

Why it’s important: You may have heard of the Ten Commandments that God gave Moses to present to the people of Israel as a set of biblical principles to live by relating to ethics and worship.

In this passage, Jesus is questioned on what the most important commandment is. Jesus names two. To paraphrase, Jesus answers: “Loving God with all your heart, soul and mind is the first and greatest. The second is like it, loving your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole law and the prophets.”

Upon close examination, it becomes evident that if one follows these two commandments Jesus identifies, the other eight of the Ten Commandments will naturally follow by adhering to this pair.

  1. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

Where: Matthew 5

What’s essential: The Beatitudes, a series of blessings Jesus gives teaching that if we live according to these, we will live a happy Christian life. According to Loyola Press: “The Beatitudes fulfill God’s promises made to Abraham and his descendants and describe the rewards that will be ours as loyal followers of Christ.”

  1. Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain

Where: Luke 6: 20-26

What’s important: The Beatitudes here are followed by four woes. There are comparisons and slight differences between the blessings in Matthew 5 and Luke 6. The four woes, or condemnations, warn of what can happen if you turn your focus away from living righteously, thus preventing God’s blessings in your life and the life to come.

  1. Rules for life

Where: Luke 6:27-45

What’s important: In these verses, Jesus teaches several fundamental concepts:

· Love your enemies.

· Be merciful.

· Do not judge.

· Do not condemn.

· Pardon others.

· Don’t be hypocritical.

· A good heart brings forth what is good.