There’s no question Jesus is one of the most well-known figures in history. Whether or not you believe his claims to be true – that he is the Son of God and the Savior of all mankind – there are some interesting and probably unexpected facts about Jesus and his life. Did Jesus have a tattoo? Was his birthday really on December 25? Read on to find out!
10 interesting facts about Jesus, like “Did Jesus have a tattoo?”
1. Mary didn’t choose Jesus’ name.
In the Gospel of Luke, the angel Gabriel relays God's message to Mary, instructing her on the name of her son: "Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus" (Luke 1:28–31). The name "Jesus" means "Yahweh saves."
2. Jesus was a common name.
Jesus had a remarkably common name for his time. Today, it might be equivalent to being named Brian or Joe! The commonality and simplicity of Jesus’ name reflect his humility and is a testament to his approachability and relatability.
Jesus was referred to by more than just his given name. Check out this Bible Reading Plan that explores the different names used to describe Jesus and the powerful meaning behind them.
3. Jesus probably wasn’t born on December 25.
This may be surprising, but the Bible doesn't tell us the date Jesus was born. We also don’t know for sure why Christmas is celebrated on December 25 – though many assume it’s because the Roman Emperor Constantine, who was a huge proponent of Christianity in the Roman Empire, chose that time of year in order to draw attention away from pagan holidays taking place around the same time.
4. Jesus wasn’t an only child.
Did you know Jesus had siblings? In fact, he was one of 5 sons! Matthew 13:55 names all of his brothers: "Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?"
5. Jesus worked as a craftsman.
In Mark 6:3, the crowd in Jesus' hometown identifies him as a carpenter (though we don’t know that he specifically worked with wood): "He's just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon." It makes sense, considering his dad, Joseph, was also a craftsman or builder by trade.
6. Where did Jesus grow up?
One of the reasons people had a tough time believing Jesus was really the Son of God was because of where he grew up. Nazareth, his hometown, wasn’t a place people looked at favorably. John 1:46 says it all: "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" It was surprising to people that the Messiah would come from that city.
7. Jesus could speak multiple languages.
While Aramaic was the primary language Jesus spoke growing up, it’s believed that Jesus could also speak Greek. This is evidenced by his ability to communicate with the Centurion (Matthew 8:5-13) and Pilate (Matthew 27:11-14), who spoke Greek as well.
8. We don’t know for sure what Jesus looked like...
Did Jesus have long hair? Was he tall? We don’t really know. Isaiah 53:2 describes Jesus as having "no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him." There's no detailed description of his hair color, eye color, or height. In other words, Jesus was an average-looking man.
That probably means he didn’t have any tattoos, either! In fact, the Jewish law in Leviticus forbade tattoos in that time period.
9. ...but he probably wasn’t white.
What we can infer from the description in Isaiah 53:2 when we consider Jesus’ Jewish heritage and the geographical region he lived in is this: Jesus was average in appearance for his descent and likely had dark skin and dark hair.
10. Jesus had a short ministry career.
While there are records of Jesus’ life spanning his birth, childhood, and adulthood, he only started his ministry around age 30. The commencement of Jesus' ministry is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, but it is commonly accepted that it started around the age of 30 (Luke 3:23). He made an incredible impact in a roughly 3 year span!
The Bible has so much more information about Jesus than a handful of fun facts! If this has piqued your interest and you want to learn more about Jesus, check out what the book of Revelation tells us about him.
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