My son had messed up and my wife, his
mother, was leaning into him, rightfully so, with a
good course correcting. But for whatever reason, I
must have lost my mind; I stepped in with words I
hadn’t thought through very well. I said, “I think
all calm down a little.” One look from my wife and I
immediately knew the gun turrets had turned from my
son to me. With her finger in my face, she said,
“Yeah . . . I’m going to need you to use your words
and your wisdom at the same time here.” Boy, did I
regret saying anything. Next time, “You’re on your
own son!” “I’ll miss you.”
As I struggle through the red letters of my Bible, I
see numerous statements from Jesus that perplex me.
To be blunt, there are several things I wish He had
never said. For example: Turn the other cheek. Love
your enemies. Don’t judge. Don’t
worry. Those are all things that are easier said
than done. But, Jesus clearly said them.
Just think about it; Jesus never said anything he
was sorry he said. He never had to walk back his
statements, never apologized, and never regretted
his words. It’s not only the difficult sayings of
Jesus, it’s the sayings that challenge us, frustrate
confound us and convict us.
We live in a “selfie-centered” world. Is there any
value to self-denial? Jesus must have thought so. He
said, “Anyone who wants to follow me must deny
himself.” Let’s face it, many of the things Jesus
said are in deep contrast to what we’re witnessing
around us. I’m wrestling with some of the things
Jesus said, as I look at the world I live in. How
can I make these two extremes work for me?
If you’re hoping to read the words of Jesus and then
try to just stay in your little Christian comfort
zone, then move along; there’s nothing to see here.
But if you’re willing to consider a radical way of
living, then Jesus’ words are for you.
For the months of February and March,
we’re entering a new sermon series: “Things I Wish
Jesus Never Said!” Jesus shares with us powerful
truths that challenge our daily lives as Christ’s
followers. Far from “fortune cookie” wisdom, these
words of Jesus are spoken for our eternal good. We
might ask: “Why would Jesus say that?” Or “How can
He be so critical?” Because he loves us! Because he
knows our weaknesses. Because he wants us to live
each day on a different plane than the rest of the
I’ve been trying to follow Jesus for some 40 years
now. And, quite frankly, it hasn’t gotten easier.
And this is because Jesus preached a pretty tough
message. As much as I would like to reinterpret his
sayings, or tweak them to make them more suitable, I
can’t. Jesus says things I don’t want to hear; he
says things that are hard to do; he says things that
are hard to be. Tempted as I am to forget about them
or offer excuses, I can’t avoid what Jesus says. My
only option is to give them more place in my life.
So with that, we’re going to look at my list of
things I wish Jesus never said. We’re going to study
the what, the why, and the how of each of these
statements. And then, we’re going to take the next
spiritual step in our faith journey to live them.
Far from easy. But oh so rewarding!
Feb 3 Love Your Enemies
Feb 10 Do Not Worry About Tomorrow
Feb 17 Forgive as God Forgives You
Feb 24 If Your Eye Causes You to Sin
Mar 3 No One Comes Except through Me
Mar 10 Do Not Judge
Mar 17 Turn the Other Cheek
Mar 24 Go and Make Disciples
Mar 31 You Make Me Want to Vomit
Ron Otto, Preaching Minister at Lincoln Christian
Church in Lincoln