4 Things Jesus Never Said

In the history of humankind, few people have been as misquoted as Jesus.

In the history of human kind, few people have been as widely quoted as Jesus. Which also means few have been misquoted as often as Jesus. I don’t mean we quote verses incorrectly; rather we associate thoughts, opinions, words and phrases with Jesus and the Bible that actually may not be there.

Here are a few things I hear frequently hear that we may need to rethink …

If You Had More Faith God Would Answer Your Prayer.

There was a man who had a son who suffered from convulsions, and was unable to speak. The father brought his son to Jesus for healing and said, “If you can do anything … help!” Jesus replied to the father, “If you can? Everything is possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23).

The father then said to Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

What happens next is interesting. Jesus does not say, “I’m sorry, I’d love to help you out, but you need more faith before I can do anything” - not at all. Rather, he heals the boy in the midst of the father’s struggle to believe.

In fact, if we read through the Bible we see God at work in the lives of people in the midst of their doubt and unbelief. We see this with Sarah in Genesis 18, the people of Israel in Exodus 14, Naaman in 2 Kings 5, and Zechariah in Luke 1—to name a few.

We cannot forget the Bible is the story of God’s work, renewal, faithfulness and redemption in the midst of the unfaithfulness of humanity. He does not demand we believe and trust so he can work. He works, and invites us to believe and trust.

Doubting Is Dangerous.

Did Jesus say “Stop Doubting?” Yes. Is there more to the story? Yes.

Of all the disciples, the only one who was has an enduring nickname is Thomas, a.k.a. “Doubting Thomas.” We have traditionally thrown him under the bus for doubting Jesus rose from the dead, and condescendingly shake our heads at his resistance to believe.

But let’s not forget, he is not the only one who did not believe. When the disciples first hear of Jesus’ resurrection from the women who went to Jesus’ tomb, “they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense” (Luke 24:11).

All the disciples doubted, but Thomas was the only one with the courage to admit he needed proof. He said, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25). And when Jesus finally encountered Thomas, he did not rebuke him. Rather he gave Thomas what he needed. He invited Thomas to touch his wounds, and only then did Jesus tell him he could stop doubting.

The beauty of this is Thomas had an encounter with Jesus none of the other disciples did. He is the only one who touched the wounds of Jesus, because he had the faith to doubt. Nowhere does Jesus condemn doubt; rather he meets people right where they are in it.

Here is How You Can Get To Heaven.

What’s remarkable about Jesus is how little he talked about what happens to us when we die. He was far more concerned with what happens to us while we live here and now. I say this, because Jesus commented very little on heaven as a place somewhere out there we can go when we die.

However, Jesus talked nonstop about our life here and now. Make no mistake Jesus proclaimed the gospel, and the good news about the Kingdom of God (or the Kingdom of Heaven). But his desire was to see this Kingdom come to earth. By comparison we speak about the gospel being how we can leave earth to get to heaven and have eternal life after we die.

Which raises a question: Why does our gospel get us ready to die while the gospel of Jesus gets us ready to live?
Perhaps we should listen closely to the words of Jesus, and move from being consumed with where we will go when we die to being consumed with how we live here and now. How would that change, not only us, but also our world?

There Will Always Be Poor People Among You. Period.

I have a t-shirt that has the words “End Poverty” on the back. Several times when I have worn the shirt I’ve had people say dismissively, “Jesus said, ‘The poor you will have with you always …’” True, he did say that. But that is not all he said.

According to the gospel of Mark Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want” (Mark 14:7). Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 15 where God told his people, “There need be no poor people among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you … he will richly bless you” (Deuteronomy 15:4). God told his people there is no good reason for poverty to exist.

But God seemed to know how we operate, so he said, “If anyone is poor among your people in any of the towns … be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need …” And “There will always be poor people in the land … be openhanded toward those of your people who are poor and needy in your land” (Deuteronomy 15:7-11).

If anything, Jesus’ quote about the poor is a challenge to be generous, lending freely and openhanded toward them.

Jesus certainly had a lot to say; it’s no wonder he is often misquoted. However, when we take the time to truly hear what he has to say to us we will be both comforted and challenged by his words. And when we truly hear him, we will have much more to rethink.

52 Comments

Emmanuel Audu-war

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Emmanuel Audu-war commented…

Matthew 6:33 "seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness,and all These things shall be added to you" I believe Jesus wants us to know that getting to where He has gone to prepare for us is a top priority, why will He say we should seek it First?

Shirley Ann Hebert

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Shirley Ann Hebert replied to Emmanuel Audu-war's comment

I intended to post a reply to your comment, but I posted my own comment instead. However, It should appear directly under your comment. I'm sorry for any confusion. Have a blessed day!

Shirley Ann Hebert

2

Shirley Ann Hebert commented…

Emmanuel Audu-war,
In Matthew 6:33, Jesus was not speaking of the kingdom of heaven. He is speaking of the kingdom of God and the righteousness of God. Seeking the righteousness of God is seeking to be more like Jesus while we are still here in this world. If you take this verse in context (beginning 32 verses earlier in verse 1), you will see that the teaching was about being careful not to worry so much about material possessions. Instead of material gain, here in this world, we are to focus on the riches of the Spirit which are given to those who are a part of the kingdom of God (believers... a people, not a place).
Below, I will paste and entry from a commentary that I often turn to in my studies. The teaching therein, is likely the same as most other noted commentaries on the scriptures, and gives references which you may check out as well. It is very long, but worth reading. I hope you find this helpful. Be blessed!

Matthew 6:25-34

In Mat_6:25-26 we have an argument against giving place to the cares of this world, on the ground that they are unworthy of an immortal being like man; and also an illustration pointedly leading to the exercise of faith.
I. The question before the Lord was not whether we should be as idle as the birds, but only whether we should, like them, cast off care and trust our heavenly Father. Toil is man’s lot. He must sow and reap. We cannot expect the daily manna unless we go and gather it. The argument is not against labour, but against worldly care; and this is the purport of it: God cares for the little birds; He provides their food in due season; and they, instead of burdensome anxiety, in their unconscious gratitude are ever hymning His praise. Now this God is your Father; ye are the children of the Highest; and if He provides for the very birds, how much more will a Father’s love and watchfulness care for each of you. Only trust Him, therefore, and all shall be well.
II. The Lord exhorts us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. This is the pith and kernel of the whole matter. What He means is, that they are not to set their hearts on the kingdom, the possessions, of this world—its riches and honours, and pampering indulgences and vain displays; neither are they to vex their hearts with cares concerning these, as the Gentiles do, sinking thereby into a like degradation with them, but they are to make it their foremost object to obtain spiritual treasures—meekness, temperance, patience, faith, love, and all things just and true and honest and pure and lovely, which are the true riches and real honours of man, the only dignities acknowledged in the kingdom of God. Now the way to obtain these is through faith in God and His Christ. Their great effort, therefore, should be to believe that God reigns, and to trust Him with a most loyal and unswerving devotion. This is obviously what is here meant by seeking the kingdom of God. The righteousness of God here meant is the righteousness of His government—His all-holy and wise administration, which we are to cherish with a steadfast faith.
W. C. Smith, The Sermon on the Mount, p. 239.
References: Mat_6:25-34.—J. C. Jones, Studies in St. Matthew, p. 146. Mat_6:26.—Spurgeon, Morning by Morning, p. 26; A. J. Griffith, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xv., p. 140; J. M. Neale, Sermons to Children, p. 204. Mat_6:26-28.—H. J. Wilmot-Buxton, Waterside Mission Sermons, vol. i., No. 16.

Matthew 6:33

Prosperity shall follow true piety. When it is said "Seek first" it means first in both senses of the term—first in time, and first in emphasis. The intensity is on both of them combined. Aim mainly at the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all the proper ends which you seek in this world shall be added to you—that is the statement.
I. Now, what is this righteousness? What is this kingdom? The Old Testament is full of the doctrine of righteousness; and nowhere in the New Testament is that doctrine, as it is enunciated in the Old Testament, rebuked. The methods of seeking after gain are there criticized, but the ideal of manliness in body, in affection, in soul, in understanding, as it was held by the riper minds of the Old Testament dispensation—manliness as the effect of striving for God’s Spirit with our natural faculties—that ideal of the Old Testament not only never was rebuked, but was adopted by the New Testament. He who, as first in importance, as first in his purpose, and as first in time, seeks to establish in himself a true Christian manliness, giving it the precedence from the beginning of his life clear down to the end, shall have all these other things added to him.
II. True piety, moderation of desire, restraint of appetite, and the unfolding of these sweeter affections which are developed by faith and the love of God, tends, (1) to make true health, which is the primitive, original, first element of success in life; (2) true piety, with its control over the passions, whereby it holds them in and harnesses them, prevents the waste which destroys men who give themselves the swing of full indulgence in passion. (3) The element of success in life is largely founded on good judgment, good "common sense." True piety tends to give this. (4) There is another element in the success of life—justice. Men that are just are always men who have a considerable regard for the rights of other people, and are sensitive to them. The man who keeps about him a clear atmosphere of benevolence, and lives in the true spirit of the Gospel, which says, "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others," and is concerned for the prosperity of those who are round about him, and is not swallowed up by his own prosperity—he is gradually being prepared for success in life.
H. W. Beecher, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xii., p. 164.

The whole thought hinges upon a point of order. Indeed, all religion, practically, is a point of order. The Christian places heaven first, and this world in a very distant second. To the man of secular mind this world is always large in the foreground; while the life to come is far-off, dim, and unreal in the distance.
I. The important word in the text is "first." For if we set aside the very ungodly, there are very few who do not seek, or who do not at some time or other mean to seek, the kingdom of God and His righteousness. He who knew the heart as none other ever knew it, He saw the necessity of this precept. And the reason of all the disappointment and all the unhappiness which there is in this world is, that that great precept of order is not kept.
II. The kingdom of God is an empire with three provinces. One province is a man’s own heart, when the throne of Christ is once really set up in it; another province is the Church, as it is set up on earth; and another is that final and magnificent condition of all things when Christ shall come and reign in His glory. There are, then, before every one, these three primary objects: the first is to have the whole of his heart in subjugation to God; the second is to extend the Church; and the third is to long, and pray for, and help on the Second Advent. To strive after these things is to seek the kingdom of God.
III. What is God’s righteousness? There is a righteousness such as that in which man was originally made upright—a righteousness which consists in the due sense and performance of all the relative duties which we owe to God, to ourselves, and to our fellow-creatures. There is a righteousness which is a part of the character of God, whereby it is now become a just thing with God to save those for whom Jesus died. And there is a righteousness composed of all the perfections of the life of Christ, which is given to every one that believes. This triple righteousness is what every good man is seeking after. First, something which will justify him before God, and then something which will justify him to his own conscience and to the world in believing that he is justified before God.
J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 4th series, p. 286.
References: Mat_6:33.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxxi., No. 1864; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. iii., p. 402; vol. viii., p. 64; H. W. Beecher, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xviii., p. 388; J. M. Wilson, Ibid., vol. xxix., p. 113; F. O. Morris, Ibid., vol. xxxii., p. 188; H. Melvill, Penny Pulpit, No. 1,959; J. C. Hare, Sermons in Herstmonceux Church, vol. i., p. 283; J. Martineau, Hours of Thoughts, vol. i., p. 17.

Lim Seonyoung

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Lim Seonyoung commented…

You bring up some important points and wonder if you agree with any of Borg's teachings on the pre-Easter Jesus and post-Easter Jesus views?

I was quite shocked when I was taught more about the historical Jesus and not the Jesus taught at a typical evangelical sunday school. Less on the Kingdom of heaven, used reversive speech, etc.

http://healingfromgod.com/

Melinda Fulwood

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Melinda Fulwood commented…

Misquoting Jesus has to do with not knowing Jesus.
The man who desired to see his son healed admitted that he was not fully convinced of the Lord's power.
Being unconvinced of Jesus' authority was and still is the problem.
The Centurion had no such difficulty with the authority of Jesus and said as much. Amazing faith for someone for whom Jesus had not been yet broken (i.e. the breaking of bread to feed the multitudes)

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