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Ordinary People Surrounding Jesus When He Died

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


While Jesus was alive, He was almost always surrounded by ordinary people. Many of them were of little social standing or influence, including fishermen and tax collectors.

People were interested in Jesus thousands of years before He was born, after He was born, and again when He died.

The Birth of Jesus

The Birth of Jesus

Ordinary People Associated with Jesus' Birth

During His life, Jesus never lost touch with the ordinary people he came in contact with. Various people of low status were connected in some way with the birth of Jesus, the life of Jesus and the death of Jesus.

Long before Jesus was born, prophets foretold his birth. All of Israel waited for the coming Messiah. One of the major prophets prophesied this in Isaiah 9:6-7.

  • Zechariah was a minor priest and the father of John the Baptist. He was told by an angel of the Lord that even in his old age and his old barren wife would have a son who would be the forerunner of Jesus. Zachariah was in such shock and disbelief that he didn't speak until months later when John the Baptist was born just as the angel predicted. (Luke 1:12-13)
  • Elizabeth was the old and barren wife of Zechariah. She was also the cousin of Mary, the mother of Jesus. After the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would bear a son, Mary went to stay with Elizabeth. As soon as Mary arrived, Elizabeth's baby leaped in her womb. (Luke 1:41-44)
  • Mary was a young small town girl. Since she had not known a man, she did not understand what the angel had told her, but she accepted what she would become the mother of Jesus. (Luke 1:26-38)
  • Joseph was a poor carpenter who married Mary instead of putting her away that would have been permissible by the Jewish law. The angel Gabriel appeared to him in a dream and told him not to put Mary away. (Matthew 1:19-25)
  • Shepherds were in the field watching their flock by night when the angels told them that the Savior had been born. (Luke 2:8-12)
  • Simeon was an old man who vowed not to die until he was able to hold the Baby Jesus. He died after he held the baby in his arms. (Luke 2:25-29)
  • Anna was an elderly woman who had been a widow for thirty-four years living in the temple night and day and praying. She, like Simeon, got to see the Baby Jesus before she died. (Luke 2:36-38)
People Surrounding Jesus

People Surrounding Jesus

Ordinary People Associated with Jesus' Death

Instead of being around kings and people of high standing, Jesus was often surrounded by "little or unimportant people" the entire time He was alive.

  • Simon the leper hosted Jesus as his house guest in Bethany before He died. (Matthew 26:6)
  • An unnamed woman anointed the feet of Jesus with costly ointment at the home of Simon the leper. The anointing was a foretelling of His burial when women would rub spices on Him, such as frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 26:6-13)
  • An unnamed man opened his home to Jesus and the twelve disciples for the Last Supper together before He died. (Matthew 26:17-19)
  • An unnamed servant girl asked Peter about his association with Jesus. Peter denied having known Jesus. (Matthew 26:69-70)
  • Another girl in the crowd also asked Peter about his association with Jesus. (Matthew 26:71-72)
  • Other unnamed crowd members also inquired about Peter's association with Jesus. (Matthew 26:73-74)
  • Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. He later committed suicide. (Matthew 26:14-16)
  • Barabbas, a convicted criminal was freed instead of Jesus because it was a custom to release one prisoner during Passover. The crowd yelled out for guilty Barabbas to be released and innocent Jesus to be crucified. (Matthew 27:17)
Simon of Cyrene carried Jesus' cross

Simon of Cyrene carried Jesus' cross

  • Simon of Cyrene, a follower in the crowd, was selected to carry the heavy cross of Jesus after He had fallen three times on His way to His own death. (Matthew 27:32)
  • Two dying thieves were crucified on the cross with Jesus. One repented and was saved. The other mocked Jesus and had a different outcome. (Luke 23:39-43)
  • Unnamed people in the crowd offered Jesus a drink when He was close to death and He said, "I thirst." (John 19:29-30)
  • A Roman centurion pierced Jesus in His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. The centurion acknowledged that Jesus was the Son of God just as He said He was. (John 33-34)
  • Many loyal women, including Mary the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, were at the cross. (Matthew 27:55-56)
  • The women went to the tomb three days later to anoint the body of Jesus, but He wasn't there because He had risen. (Luke 24:10)


From the examples mentioned above, three things should be noticed.

  1. People are not so important that they cannot acknowledge and follow Jesus.
  2. People are not so ordinary that they cannot acknowledge and follow Jesus.
  3. Jesus was surrounded by all types of people.

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