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The 20 most important sayings of Jesus

20 to 1 countdown…. The 20 most important sayings of Jesus

This was hard to do! I have been studying Jesus and his teaching for many years…. And to reduce what we have on him to just 20 sayings… well… it is very subjective and a huge ask. It will be a countdown…. From the 20th to the 1st most important saying….

20) On prayer: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; those who seek find; and to those who knock, the door will be opened” (Luke 11:9-10).

19) An invitation to commune. “Behold! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with them, and they with me” (Revelation 3:20).

18) On Humility: “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, the servant of all” (Mark 9:35). “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:15).

17) On condemning others. “Let any one of you who is without sin, be the first to throw a stone” (John 8:7). Also: “Do not judge lest you be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure it will be measured to you. And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’ when there is a log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:1-5).

16) The Bread of life. “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. … Truly I say to you whoever believes has eternal life. ….here is the bread that comes down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world… truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day.” (John 6:35, 47-51, 53-54). At the last supper Jesus would also institute communion: “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, saying, ‘This is my body given for you, do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way after supper he took the cup saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood which is poured out for you.'” (Luke 22:19-20).

15) On Living water. “Those who drink the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).

14) On Being born again. “Truly I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again… no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit” (John 3:3-6).

13) On forgiving others. “Peter came and said to him, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21-22).

12) The Lord’s Prayer: “Pray in this way: ‘Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us his day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.’ For if you forgive people for their transgressions, your heavenly father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive people, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions” (Matthew 6:9-15. See also Luke 11:2-4).

11) Go, baptize and teach. “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).

10) On Materialism. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon…..” (Matthew 6:19-24). And: “I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go thorough the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:21-25). Also: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed. Life does not consist in the abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15).

9) On the sinner who repents. “I tell you there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent” (Luke 15:7).

8) The call to follow Jesus: “Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my load is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

7) On self-sacrifice. “Those who would be my disciples must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and the gospel will save it. What good is it for you to gain the whole world yet forfeit your soul? Or what can you give in exchange for your soul?” (Mark 8:34-37).

6) On non-violence. “You have heard that is was said: ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’. But I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also…You have heard that it was said ‘Love you neighbor and hate your enemy’. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be children of your Father in heaven…” (Matthew 5:38,39, 43-45). When Peter tried to save Jesus from arrest, by wielding a sword, Jesus rebuked him and said: “all who draw the sword will die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). Jesus himself showed the way. As he was being executed, as he hung from the cross, he prayed to God: “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

5) On caring for the needy. “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). And: “Come, …take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was ill and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me… whenever you did it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me” (Matthew 25:34-40).

4) The “Beatitudes”. “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 gentle 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 have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when you are insulted and persecuted and said evil against falsely on account of me, rejoice and be glad for your reward in heaven is great…” (Matthew 5:3-12).

3) Christ’s mission. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18,19).

2) The new commandment. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-36).

1) The most important commandment. “A lawyer asked him a question, testing him: ‘Teacher, which is the most important commandment?’ And he said to him,… ‘Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these'” (Mark 12:28-31).

Jim Reiher


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