THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS
“[H]e was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes” (Matt 7:29 ESV). “The people were astonished at Jesus’ teaching. In contrast to their rabbis, who merely cited the opinions of other rabbis, Jesus’ teachings had inherent authority, the authority of God himself.”1
“Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15 ESV).
The kingdom of God is the central theme in Jesus’s teaching. Jesus taught that the kingdom of God had come, and that he, as the incarnate and divine Lord, was its ruler. This kingdom challenged the standards of the kingdoms of men and called its citizens to live in radically different ways.2
“[T]here is no teaching of Christ contained in all four Gospels [w]ith one exception. Only one verse of teaching is to be found in all four Gospels.”3
“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt10:39 ESV).
“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it” (Mark 8:35 ESV).
“Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it” (Luke 17:33 ESV).
And John records the same teaching during JESUS’ final week before His crucifixion: “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25 ESV).
“This was a principle that He had taught [His followers] on at least three separate occasions previously. Obviously it was very important.”4
This paradoxical saying reveals an important spiritual truth: those who pursue a life of ease, comfort, and acceptance by the world will not find eternal life. On the other hand, those who give up their lives for the sake of Christ and the gospel will find it.6
“Lose your life. Hate your life. This was the foremost and most-repeated word of our Master.”5 And, what does “losing your life” look like? “[It’s] when God has more of your heart than any creature in the world has.“7
(14) JESUS Teaches
1. ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001, ESV Text Edition: 2011) 1958.
2. Benjamin L. Merkle, “The Teachings of Jesus,” 2021, The Gospel Coalition, 5 February 2021 https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/essay/the-teachings-of-jesus-2/.
3. Bob Sorge, “Jesus’ Most Common Teaching,” 3 November 2014, Bob Sorge, 5 February 2021 http://bobsorge.com/2014/11/jesus-most-common-teaching/.
4. Thomas Constable, “Commentary on John 12:25,” 2012, Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable, 6 February 2021, brackets mine https://www.studylight.org/commentary/john/12-25.html.
5. Bob Sorge, “Jesus’ Most Common Teaching,” 3 November 2014, Bob Sorge, 5 February 2021 http://bobsorge.com/2014/11/jesus-most-common-teaching/.
6. John MacArthur, One Perfect Life (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2012) 228.
7. Jeremiah Burroughs, Gospel Worship (Orlando, FL: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 2006) 77.
8. Matthew 5:21-48.
9. “And he marveled because of their unbelief. . . .” (Mark 6:6 ESV).
10. “And he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’” (Luke 7:48 ESV).
11. “The LORD God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word . . .” (Isaiah 50:4 ESV).
12. Bob Sorge, “Jesus’ Most Common Teaching,” 3 November 2014, Bob Sorge, 5 February 2021 http://bobsorge.com/2014/11/jesus-most-common-teaching/.
13. “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25 ESV).
14. Jeremiah Burroughs, Gospel Worship (Orlando, FL: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 2006) 77.
15. “The Spirit of the LORD God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor . . .” (Isaiah 61:1 ESV).
16. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4 ESV).
17. “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves . . .” (Matthew 10:16 ESV).
18. “The world . . . hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil” (John 7:7 ESV).
19. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden . . .” (Matthew 11:28 ESV).
20. “ . . . I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29 ESV).