Daily Devotional for Small Group Discussion: 10 Things Jesus Never Said
- From the author’s list of “Jesus never said” phrases, identify a phrase that is familiar to you. Where did you learn it?
- Is there a phrase on the author’s list of “Jesus did say” phrases that is less familiar to you? What questions or insights does the phrase raise for you?
- In addition to the Bible, what persons/groups/resources shape your Christian values?
You must observe everything that I teach you; do not add to it or take anything from it. – Deuteronomy 12:32 (NRSV)
According to the above verse, let’s be mindful of some long-held, fake “Christian” ideas Jesus never taught:
Jesus never said: “You must accept me as your personal Lord and savior.” He did say: “Not everyone who calls me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of God.” (Matthew 7:21)
Jesus never said: “Non-Christians will go to hell.” He did say: “Anyone who verbally abuses another is in danger of hell.” (Matthew 5:22)
Jesus never said: “God never gives you more trouble than you can handle.” He did say: “In this world you will have trouble, but fear not, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Jesus never said: “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” He did say … actually, Jesus talked about beinghated. He never urged hating. (Luke 6:22)
Jesus never said: “All lives matter.” He did (essentially) say: “Samaritan lives—and other marginalized lives—matter.” (John 4:7 and many other places)
Jesus never said: “People get what they deserve.” He did say: “The sun rises on the evil and the good. The rain falls on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45)
Jesus never said: “Blessed are those with superior firepower.” He did say: “Blessed are the peacemakers and the meek.” (Matthew 5: 5&9)
Jesus never said: “I won’t help you lest you become a lazy, dependent freeloader.” He did say: “Come to me all you who are weary and heavily burdened.” (Matthew 11:28)
Jesus never said: “Wealth is a sign of God’s favor!” He did say: “Woe to you who are rich.” (Luke 6:24)
Jesus never said: “I am God.” He did say: “I am one with God.” (John 10:30)
Christ Almighty: Save us from the desire to twist your words into the mold of our values. Instead, shape our hearts into the form of yours.
Matt Laney is the Senior Pastor of Virginia Highland Church UCC in Atlanta, GA and the author of Pride Wars, a fantasy series published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers. The first two books, The Spinner Prince and The Four Guardians are available now.