It’s easy to get confused concerning what Jesus said to us in His Word. Everything from “old sayings” that circulate, to misinterpretations of God’s Word, to false teachings from spiritual leaders, can bring confusion to the most sincere follower. Here is a look at a few things that Jesus didn’t say …
- “Don’t Keep the Law:” In Matthew 5:17-20, the Message Bible has something interesting to say about how long God’s Law will be in effect, and it will outlast the very stars of the sky and the earth beneath our feet. Not only should we keep God’s Law, but we’d better keep it more closely than the Pharisees! “Don’t suppose for a minute that I have come to demolish the Scriptures-either God’s Law or the Prophets. I’m not here to demolish but to complete. I am going to put it all together, pull it all together in a vast panorama. God’s Law is more real and lasting than the stars in the sky and the ground at your feet. Long after stars burn out and earth wears out, God’s Law will be alive and working … unless you do far better than the Pharisees in the matters of right living, you won’t know the first thing about entering the Kingdom.”
- “Being Angry is Wrong:” In Matthew 5:22, we see Jesus’s perspective on anger, which differs from that of many of us who have been taught that feeling angry is wrong. “I say to you that everyone who continues to be angry with his brother or harbors malice (enmity of heart) against him shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the Sanhedrin.” When we are wronged or we see injustice around us, there is a righteous anger that can motivate us to take appropriate action. We see this type of anger in the life of our Savior here on earth. But harboring continued anger against another is where sin comes in. The “enmity” described in the above verse means “a very deep unfriendly feeling.” Jesus is telling us to avoid this type of anger by dealing with it swiftly when we experience it.
- “Money is the Root of All Evil:” Luke 16:13 clears up this popular misquote from God’s Word when Jesus explains what can occur where money or possessions are concerned. “No servant is able to serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (riches, or anything in which you trust and on which you rely.) As with many behaviors, it is the heart’s condition concerning money and possessions that Jesus addresses. You cannot love money and love God.
- “Enjoying Life is Selfish:” Jesus paid the highest price for us to be joint heirs in His Kingdom—death on the cross after a life spent among sinners and those who wanted to destroy Him. But His desire is not only for us to know Him and spend eternity with Him, it is also for us to enjoy the life we’ve been given on earth. He says so Himself in John 10:10; ”The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I come that they may have and enjoy life and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”
Knowing Jesus means knowing the truth of what He taught while on earth. Based on the above Scriptures from God’s Word, we see that Jesus loves God’s Law and will help His followers to keep it; anger is an emotion that we will feel, but we cannot harbor it against another; money is not the problem–the worship of it is, and Jesus is blessed when we enjoy this life as a gift.
What steps can you take to assure that you know the truth of what God’s Word teaches? Will you help others who pursue the truth?
**Amplified Bible and The Message Bible