13 Misconstrued Sayings That Jesus Never Actually Said

SharePinEmailMisinformation is nothing new. In fact, misinformation used to be called hearsay, with stories passed from one person to another, sometimes with a little fiction blended in! Sometimes misinformation is accidentally created as time goes by, or it may have been fabricated to meet a purpose.  Stories about Jesus Christ are no exception to the…

Misinformation is nothing new. In fact, misinformation used to be called hearsay, with stories passed from one person to another, sometimes with a little fiction blended in! Sometimes misinformation is accidentally created as time goes by, or it may have been fabricated to meet a purpose. 

Stories about Jesus Christ are no exception to the misinformation phenomenon, with historical figures experiencing more examples of hearsay than most. But what is factually accurate, and what are downright lies?

“Money is the Root of All Evil”

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This is one of the most famous quotes attributed to Jesus Christ, although it has been completely misinterpreted over time. The actual Biblical quote is:

1 Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”

Here, it is clear that Jesus Christ was referring to the love of money as being the root of evil, not having money specifically. 

“Cleanliness is Next to Godliness”

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There are many references to sanitary practices in the Bible, such as the importance of good handwashing and water purity in Leviticus 15:11. However, nowhere in the Bible does Jesus Christ ever say this phrase. John Wesley, the founding father of Methodism, is the true speaker of this well-known saying.

“The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways”

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A famous saying that Christians tend to use in both positive and negative situations, it is amazing to note that Jesus Christ never said this! In fact, an 18th-century hymn, written by William Cowper, is the origin of this phrase.

“Do Not Judge Others”

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Many Christians associate Christianity with love, fairness, and kindness to others. So, believing that Jesus Christ advised people not to judge others is not at all farfetched. However, this saying is completely misinterpreted. The actual Biblical quote is:

John 7:24: “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

Jesus Christ did not say that you should never judge anyone, but to judge others righteously and with love. Judging someone by their appearance is wrong, but judging people on their own actions with a desire to help them reform is an advisable action to take.

“I Support Only One Nation or Government”

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Jesus Christ never said this, with his teaching transcending national borders as well as political borders. But Luke 10:25 – 37, Jesus Christ teaches the parable of the Good Samaritan, a well-known story about helping someone in need. 

The Samaritan in the parable was a member of an indigenous group looked down on by Jews at the time. But Jesus Christ overlooks ethnicity and nationality and focuses on the compassion of the individual.

“Avoid Those Who Are Different from You”

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Despite this being a famous saying, Jesus Christ never actually said it. In fact, Jesus Christ promoted the opposite way of thinking, reaching out to those who were different from Him. For example, in Matthew 9:10-13, Jesus dined with sinners, explaining that he was calling the sinners and was there to help the marginalized.

“You Will Never Suffer or Face Hardship”

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Jesus Christ never told his followers that they would not suffer or face hardship, quite the contrary. On numerous occasions in the Bible, Jesus Christ warned his disciples that they would be persecuted for following Him and that hardships would be commonplace.

For example, in Matthew 10:16-22, Jesus Christ tells His disciples that he is sending them out like sheep amongst wolves, that they need to be on their guard, they may be arrested, and they may be flogged in the synagogues. Jesus Christ prepared His followers for the challenges held in the future.

“I Came to Bring Peace to the World”

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Even though the coming of Jesus Christ is synonymous with peace and love, He never said that His purpose was to bring peace to the world. In fact, Jesus warned that his presence would bring division, with families divided across the land.

Luke 12:51: “Do you think I came to bring peace on Earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on, there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.”

Jesus Christ is explaining that some people in the same family will reject His message, causing division and conflict with those who do accept His message.

“Your Faith Will Always Heal You”

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Jesus Christ healed the souls of many people, as well as some physical ailments. But he never said that faith will always physically heal an individual, a commonly misconstrued phrase. Jesus Christ did not always heal physical ailments in the Bible, with 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 providing a prime example. 

Here, Paul describes a thorn in his flesh and prayers for the removal of the thorn. Jesus Christ did not remove the thorn but instead empowered Paul’s spirit so he had the strength to endure the pain.

“All Religions Lead to God”

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Jesus Christ never said this and is the opposite of His true teachings. Jesus Christ explained that a relationship with God is only possible through Him.

John 14:6 states: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Christianity purports that there is only one God and one path to salvation.

“Blessed Are the Rich”

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Jesus Christ never promoted worldly possessions and emphasized the vital importance of generosity and humility. Spiritual values were more important than material possessions.

Luke 12:15: “Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.’”

“Life is Short! Do Whatever You Want”

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Jesus Christ supported living by a moral code, doing the right thing, and helping other people. He guided his followers to choose the difficult path that not many people can find and successfully follow.

Matthew 7:14: “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Dispelling Misinformation in Christianity

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The Bible is full of wondrous truths, fantastic quotes made by Jesus Christ Himself, as well as miraculous stories and parables. So, instead of repeating falsehoods, let’s get back to basics and take the words straight from the horse’s mouth.

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