17 Popular Phrases That Jesus Actually Said First – EpicPew

17 Popular Phrases That Jesus Actually Said First

Who is the most influential person the world has ever known? A pop music star? A Hollywood icon? Another entertainer? Perhaps an educator, philosopher, or inventor? A political candidate or other occasional menace to society? Indeed, none of these.

If you open a world history textbook used in many educational institutions around the globe, perhaps speaking particularly about the United States, the role of Christianity broadly, let alone of Jesus specifically, is muted. Coverage of the redeemer of the world occupies perhaps a page and a half (and the half page is very well occupied by a depiction of Jesus as an airbrushed, blow-dried, self-help sage of a hippie that barely a puff of ivory tower-flung hubris may send hurtling as a caricature into the outer reaches of revisionist history).

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In actuality, he-who-must-not-be-named is frequently not permitted to be discussed at length even as a historical figure, let alone as the savior of humanity. Yet, Christianity is the only faith tradition in which God became man, stepping down to our level in order to occupy our time and our space, and to give us a law not spread by the sabre, the cannonball, the guillotine, or the nuclear warhead (recalling that he who lives by the sword dies by the sword), but by love, bringing about the peace that the world cannot give (cf. John 14:27) while bearing in mind the ultimate scope of the law: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). No matter one’s faith, in the midst of Jesus’ key teachings, there are multiple phrases that he said first, and that are now part of our everyday lexicon throughout humanity. As Christians endeavor to bring Christ into the world, let us ensure that we do our part to remind others that Jesus gave us these teachings first – but we cannot merely spout them; rather, we must practice what we preach as well.


1. “Turn the other cheek”

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“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.” (Matthew 5:38-39; cf. Luke 6:29)


2. “Go the extra mile”

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“If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.” (Matthew 5:40-42)


3. “Judge not, lest you be judged”

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“Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.” (Matthew 7:1-2; cf. Luke 6:37)


4. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

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“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.” (Matthew 7:12; cf. Luke 6:31)


5. “The straight and narrow”

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“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14)


6. “Wolf in sheep’s clothing”

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“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)


7. “The blind leading the blind”

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“Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. If a blind person leads a blind person, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14; cf. Luke 6:39)


8. “A sign of the times”

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“The Pharisees and Sadducees came and, to test him, asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He said to them in reply, ‘In the evening you say, ‘Tomorrow will be fair, for the sky is red’; and, in the morning, ‘Today will be stormy, for the sky is red and threatening.’’ You know how to judge the appearance of the sky, but you cannot judge the signs of the times. An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” (Matthew 16:1-4; cf. Luke 12:54-56)


9. “Love your neighbor as yourself”

“When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them (a scholar of the law) tested him by asking, ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-34, Luke 10:25-28, and Leviticus 19:18 [Regarding this tenet’s origin in Leviticus, keep in mind that God first gave this commandment in the Old Testament, but Jesus’ reinforcement of it further underscores who he is [i.e., God himself].)


10. “Practice what you preach”

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“Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach, but they do not practice.” (Matthew 23:2-3)


11. “He who lives by the sword dies by the sword”

“Then, stepping forward, they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus put his hand to his sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father and he will not provide me at this moment with more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:50-53)


12. “Good Samaritan”

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This is one of Christ’s more well-known parables. You can read it in its entirety in Luke 10:29-37. (And, yes, that nun is being helped across the street not by someone from Samaria, but from Massachusetts – faithful Catholic Mark Wahlberg, who underwent a deep conversion and turned his life around since his youth. Wahlberg is now devoted to serving the Church in various capacities.)


13. “To whom much is given, much is required”

(On that note, did Voltaire know that Jesus said it first?)

“Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” (Luke 12:48)


14. “Prodigal son”

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This is another one of Christ’s more well-known parables, which you can read in its totality in Luke 15:11-32.


15. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”

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“‘Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?’ They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him. Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She replied, ‘No one, sir.’ Then Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.’” (John 8:5-11)


16. “The truth will set you free”

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“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)


17. “You can do whatever you want. Just have a good time and ignore my teachings!”

Of course, Jesus did not say this, despite the world’s claims. However, he did give us some demanding teachings, such as Luke 9:23, Luke 9:62, John 14:6, and John 14:15, really demanding teachings, such as Matthew 5:43-48, and many others. However, fortunately, he also reminds us of some enduring ultimatums: Matthew 11:28-30 and Matthew 28:20.

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