King Herod ruled the Holy Land on behalf of the Romans. According to Matthew, he tried to destroy Jesus, whom he saw as a rival to his throne. Herod told his men to kill all the children in Bethlehem who were less than two years old. God warned Joseph of this, and he escaped with Mary and Jesus to Egypt.
Mary, her husband Joseph, and the baby Jesus
I Glazed earthenware altarpiece made by Giovanni della Robbia, 1521
The teachings of Jesus
Jesus' ministry - his period of teaching -probably lasted no more than three years, but it had an enormous impact. During this short time he preached, taught, and performed miracles in the Holy Land, especially in the villages around the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was a brilliant teacher who could explain things in ways that everyone could understand. His teachings attracted many followers because they revealed a new way of looking at God's kingdom. He said it was open to all believers who would turn away from their sins, including the poor, the sick, and social outcasts.
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