Just before Christmas, I had a strong desire to focus more on the life of Jesus Christ, so we started reading the New Testament during family scripture study time. I specifically wanted to read both the happenings and the teachings of His life, with the goal that my children will know Him better, but I wasn’t sure how to go about it in a comprehensive way. I searched long and hard for study guides that had a complete chronology, but I didn’t find anything satisfactory–everything was thematic or out of order or excluded key stories. So, I printed out several of them, laid them out side-by-side, looked at notes in my own Bible, relied heavily on this Harmony of the Gospels tool, and created my own. It took a looooong time, so I want to share it in hopes that it can be an easy, ready resource for families to study the gospels in the New Testament.
This study schedule is not perfect, and I’m sure a seasoned scholar might find some chronological slip-ups or omissions, but it is a very careful compilation of nearly all of the recorded events and teachings of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. It is designed that over the course of 55 days, you can spend 10-15 minutes a day reading from the Bible, and cover the Savior’s recorded life from His birth though His post-resurrection ministry.
You can click here to get your own copy of the .pdf file: Life of Christ NT schedule
I have loved studying this with my children. We finished the Sermon on the Mount and are preparing to start the parables. Here are several quotes I’ve gathered about the power of studying the life of Jesus Christ. I’ve had them in mind as we read, and I’m counting on these promises:
“The stories of Jesus can be like a rushing wind across the embers of faith in the hearts of our children. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” 8 The stories of Jesus shared over and over bring faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strength to the foundation of testimony. Can you think of a more valuable gift for our children?” – Neil L. Andersen
“The Sabbath and the sacrament become much more enjoyable as we study the stories of Christ. In so doing, we create traditions that build our faith and testimony and also protect our family.” – Claudio R.M.Costa
“Honest, diligent study of the Bible does make us better and better, and we must ever remember the countless martyrs who knew of its power and who gave their lives that we may be able to find within its words the path to the eternal happiness and the peace of our Heavenly Father’s kingdom. … These words provide insight and inspiration to all who sincerely seek to know and understand the truth about Jesus Christ. The scriptures are rich in history, doctrine, stories, sermons, and testimonies, all of which ultimately focus on the eternal Christ and His physical and spiritual mission to Heavenly Father’s children.” – M. Russell Ballard
“We should not be haphazard in our reading but rather develop a systematic plan for study. … The life, acts, and teachings of Jesus can be read rapidly. The stories are simple in most instances and the stories are simply told. The Master used few words in his teachings, but each one is so concise in meaning that together they portray a clear image to the reader.” – Howard W. Hunter
“How, then, does a man imitate God, follow his steps, and walk as he walked, which we are commanded to do? We must study the life of Christ, learn his commandments, and do them. God has promised that to follow this course will lead a man to an abundant life and a fullness of joy and the peace and rest which those who are heavy-burdened long for. To learn of Christ necessitates the study of the scriptures and the testimonies of those who know him.” – Ezra Taft Benson