Did He Say That? | Jesus’s Greatest Quotes

jesus's greatest quotesTo argue about what are Jesus’s greatest quotes is pretty futile. It’s impossible to really measure that. I think you could probably break-down what were his most influential words or statements. The ones that most impacted humanity for all-time.

I’m not of the theological intelligence to do that. With Easter approaching and as billions of people world-wide think on what Jesus lived, died, and came back from the dead for, I just want to look at some quotes from Jesus that people often miss amongst whatever seems to pull us astray.

So think on these statements. Some of them are pretty crazy. So much so it’s hard to believe that they are Jesus quotes. Take a look, and think about how you respond to “Him” this Easter.

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But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
(Mark 10.42-45)

Wow. No wonder some people think Jesus was a lunatic. He suggests the total, complete, absolute opposite of modern and ancient conventional thinking. That if you want to be great you must be a servant, a slave. True greatness in found in preferring others before yourself.

And I love that it continues (the Son of Man is another title for Jesus) that he came not to be served, but to give his life as a ransom.

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For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
(Matthew 25.35-40)

What I love about this Jesus quote is it cuts through the layer of capitalism that consumes the hearts of both “believers” and “non-believers.” Jesus didn’t qualify his statement by saying, “Except for those begger bums that can’t get a job. Screw ’em. They’ll just spend your money on weed.” Nope, he says when we clothe and feed the poor we clothe and feed him. He takes it personally.

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Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
(Matthew 6.31-34)

Doesn’t this calm the anxious heart?

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Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

(Matthew 5.3-12)

I consider myself a Christ-follower but I don’t write this blog to Christians. I don’t commonly refer to myself as a Christian as that term has lost it’s meaning. That said, I like to point the above quote out to what I call “westernized” Christians. Or “capitalistic” Christians.

This Jesus quote shows what he says will be blessed. Not people who accumulate tons of wealth. Not people who are successful by man’s standards. I’m tired of many people’s common valuation of success. You can store up your money and die with your wealth. I want to invest my life into something greater.

And to end all these feel good statements, you know what Jesus promises his followers? Not wealth or prosperity that some TV preacher may promise if you mail him $30. He promises that his people will be persecuted and have some tough challenges to work through.jesus's best quotes

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If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?
(Mark 8.34-36)

What do you think are Jesus’s greatest quotes?

[1st Photo Credit: http://dribbble.com/carriesch]
[2nd Photo Credit: http://dribbble.com/adamgrason]

About Todd Mayfield

He's a lover, not a fighter. But he's also a fighter, so don't get any ideas.

He works for a series of private schools to advance innovative education to combat ballooning classroom sizes and challenge the status quo of the current public and private education format.

Comments

  1. Hey, Todd. Great stuff. I’ve really been challenged by the Matt 25 passage. We’ve had some transient folks in and out of our church since we’re in a downtown area. Most have great needs, some are probably not willing to work, some can’t get jobs because of past mistakes, many have mental health issues…they’re all different and difficult situations. Unfortunately, we don’t have the means to help them all. I’ve offered to help some folks by directing them to other organizations that can help them get back on their feet. Recently my offer to help a single mom with two kids was refused because she has a boyfriend now and doesn’t want to leave him (even for a short period of time, I might add, to save up some money!). We’ve had to learn discernment because we can’t give to everyone who walks in the doors. Also, do I give money to someone on the street when I know that someone else who’s a “regular” at our gatherings is having trouble paying bills, etc.? I’d love to get others’ thoughts on this.

    • Kevin!
      Great to hear from you! I miss seeing you and Shanygne. It’s been a long time!

      Anyhow, those are all great questions to wrestle with. Our resources aren’t infinite, and Jesus did promise the poor will always be with us.

      I think handouts to the poor person you’ll never see again is helpful. I rarely have cash on me, so handing a guy on the street the Clif Bar in my car is at least a small help to him.

      For people that are “anti” giving to the poor b/c they are suspicious if they will use their money properly I have suggested this: find a poor person, and repeatedly invest in them. Can you help them get a job interview? This would include washing their clothes, feeding them, letting them bathe at your place, etc.

      So similarly, it sounds like you chewing on whether to give to the person who is having trouble paying their bills is in a way in the same vein.

      I share a couple of thoughts on this here: https://fearlessmen.com/night-on-the-street-homeless/

      Nice to hear from you Kevin!
      Todd

  2. I do like the quote about being anxious. I used to be a worrier and it did me no good at all. Now I don’t worry as much and try to keep the attitude that things will work out in the end.

    My favorite is a concept that is often overlooked, especially in the personal finance crowd:

    “And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” — Matthew 19:24

    • I think about that as well. As I’m getting a little bit older I’m actually less worried about wealth. At the same time, that saps a little bit of my career ambition/energy. Fortunately, I’m enjoying life more now than I have compared to most of the past ten years!

  3. Beautiful excerpts, and interesting insight. Great post!

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