Things Jesus Never Said

Things Jesus never said:

  • Listen to your heart
  • Be true to yourself
  • Trust your gut
  • Feel good about who you are
  • Happiness is what matters
  • Just be a good person

What Jesus did say:

  • If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me (Luke 9:23).
  • If you love me, keep my commands (John 14:15).
  • I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).

Resurrection Matters

“If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (1 Corinthians 15:14-15).

What’s the big deal about the resurrection? Why does the bodily resurrection of Jesus matter so much? Why can’t we just go with all the great truths in the teachings of Jesus? Why must we insist on the resurrection of Jesus?

Why must we insist on the resurrection? Because Jesus said he would rise again.

Not metaphorically. Not symbolically. But in actual reality. He would physically die, be buried, descend into hell, to rise again on the third day.

Every gospel records Jesus telling his disciples multiple times that he is going to Jerusalem to die. “He (Jesus) then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this” (Mark 8:31-32).

Tim Keller writes, “If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”

If Jesus rose from the dead, he is the Messiah, the Christ, the anointed One prophesied in the Old Testament. He is the one who dies for the sins of the world. He is the one who defeats death and conquers sin. He is the Son of God. He is God.

But if he doesn’t…well…he’s none of that. And if he’s not who he says he is, we don’t need to pay attention to anything he said.

But if he is the risen one, then we’re not just dealing with good teachings and truths, but the very words of God when we read the scriptures.

So, if Christ is not risen from the dead, our faith is futile and useless.

All of Christianity hangs on the reality of the resurrection.

This is God’s Will for You

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

“For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus…”

Again? This too is God’s will for the Christian?


You don’t have to wonder if this is God’s will. You don’t have to guess.

God just comes out and says, “This is my will for you.”

Well, what is it? What is God’s will for the Christian?

“Rejoice always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances.”

Pay attention to these words: always, continually, and all circumstances. That, I would argue, is pretty darn conclusive. Not sometimes. Always. Not just once in a while. Continually. Not in some situations, but all circumstances.

What are we called to do always, continually, and in all circumstances? Rejoice. Pray. Give thanks.

You see, God doesn’t tell us to be happy. He tells us to rejoice. Joy is so different than happiness. You see, I was happy when the Mariners were up 7-0 against the Cubs the other week. And I was very upset by the end of the game when the Mariners lost to the Cubs 9-14! How in the world do you lose a baseball game after going up 7 runs!!! But here’s the thing about joy. You can be unhappy and still be filled with joy.

I’ve seen it. I’ve seen people who’ve lost their spouse of six decades be filled with grief and sorrow, and who are at the same time rejoicing because they know that death does not get the last word, that disease does not win. Because of Jesus and the empty tomb that this departure is temporary. Grief and sorrow doesn’t cancel out resurrection hope and joy. They can co-exist.

Rejoice always.

Pray continually. Not just once in a while. But continually. Be mindful throughout the day of God’s presence in our lives.

Finally, give thanks in all circumstances. Not some. Not only in good situations. But in all circumstances. How? Why? Because the tomb is empty. We start on the basis of God’s ultimate victory. Even if nothing good ever happens again, we start with the resurrection and the empty tomb. God wins. And we’re already victors because of all that God has done in Jesus Christ.

Always – Continually – All Circumstances

Rejoice – Pray – Give Thanks