17 Things People Believe Jesus Said But He Never Did

SharePinEmailJesus taught those who followed him to obey his teaching and be rewarded with eternal life in the Kingdom of God. While the underlying message of Jesus is undisputed, there are many proverbs and sayings that people believe Jesus said, but their origin is more ambiguous, as they are not evidenced in the Bible. Common…

Jesus taught those who followed him to obey his teaching and be rewarded with eternal life in the Kingdom of God. While the underlying message of Jesus is undisputed, there are many proverbs and sayings that people believe Jesus said, but their origin is more ambiguous, as they are not evidenced in the Bible.

Common Misrepresented Phrases

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Here are some of the most common things that many people believe Jesus said but have not been testified.

The Lion Shall Lie Down with the Lamb

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The saying “The lion shall lie down with the lamb,” does not occur in the Bible, but is an often cited prophecy suggesting utopia has come to Earth.

Follow Your Heart

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Trust your instincts rather than what your head is telling you is commonly summarized as “follow your heart.” But Jesus did not utter the phrase entirely. Instead, he taught about the importance of asking for guidance from God.

Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You

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This saying summarizes the Christian message of caring for our neighbors. However, rather than being said by Jesus, the expression derives from the Gospel of Matthew 7:12, which said: “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you…”

Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner

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The notion that God hates sin but loves the sinner is not exactly conducive to the teachings of the Bible, which tells us to condemn sin but extend love and possible redemption to those who believe.

Money is the Root of All Evil

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Timothy 6:0 says: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” Jesus spoke extensively about the pitfalls of prioritizing wealth and material possessions over compassion for others and spiritual value. Hence, the popular saying “Money is the root of all evil,” has arisen, albeit slightly misquoted, and not something Jesus said.

God Won’t Give You More than You Can Handle

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The saying: “God won’t give you more than you can handle,” comes from a passage from Paul in 1 Corinthians 10. “No temptation has overtaken you, except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” While the expression might be comforting, it did not come directly from the teachings of Jesus.

Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged

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Rather than coming from Jesus, “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” comes from the Matthew 5:7 of the King James Bible. It does however reiterate the message about practicing humility and addressing our own faults and failings before criticizing others.  

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

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There has always been a strong emphasis on hygiene within Christianity, as the Bible has many rituals related to personal and public hygiene. But the popular proverb “Cleanliness is next to Godliness,” was not something Jesus directly said.

To Thine Own Self Be True

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The expression ‘To Thine Own Self Be True,’ suggests that, above everything, we should be true to our morals, principles, and beliefs. But was it said by Jesus? While Jesus taught the importance of integrity and self-honesty, the phrase is a well-known Shakespearean quote, spoken by the King’s advisor, Polonius in Hamlet Act 1, Scene 3.

God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

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The phrase ‘God helps those who help themselves” is an expression that is commonly used around the world as a means of inspiring self-help, self-motivation, and self-initiative. The phrase certainly aligns with the message of Jesus to show compassion and empathy towards others, but it is not stated in the Bible. Rather, it has been attributed to the American scientist, politician, and philanthropist, Benjamin Franklin, but its roots go as far back as Ancient Greek.

Charity Begins at Home

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The saying ‘Charity begins at home’ is pretty self-explanatory, suggesting that people should deal with the needs of the people closest to them before thinking about helping others. But the expression does not exactly correspond with the teachings of Jesus, who emphasized the importance of the community and extending compassion beyond the home.

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child

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The saying ‘Spare the rod, spoil the child,’ is commonly claimed to have come from the King James Version of the Bible, Book of Proverbs 13:24, which says: “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” However, the saying, which is used to justify strict discipline on children, is more likely to have derived from ‘Hudibras,’ a 17th-century poem by Samuel Butler. In the poem, spanking is commended as a means of making love grow stronger.

Money Can’t Buy Happiness

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Jesus spoke a lot about the dangers of materialism and greed but did not speak the words “money can’t buy happiness.” But the saying has become a token of why we should not seek money as the root of happiness, and why things like exercise and being kind to others should be prioritized over wealth.

This Too Shall Pass

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Another saying that is often mistakenly thought to have been spoken by Jesus is “This too shall pass,” reflecting how hardships and challenges are typically fleeting. But it is actually of Persian origin, which was spoken by the English poet Edward Fitzgerald, as he retold a Persian fable in the 19th Century.

God Moves in a Mysterious Way

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Another popular expression that is often confused with having come from Jesus is “God moves in a mysterious way.” But is actually came from Christian hymn called “Light Shining out of the Darkness,” that was written by the English poet William Cowper in 1773.

The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth

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“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth,” was spoken in Matthew 5:5 and concurs with Jesus’s message about blessing the humble.  

The Ends Justify the Means

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This popular expression that denotes that if a goal is morally important enough, any method of attaining it is acceptable, is commonly believed to have come from Jesus. However, it is a saying of Niccolò Machiavelli, a Florentine diplomat, author, philosopher, and historian who lived during the Italian Renaissance.

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