19 Things Jesus Never Said

“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11:28)

Eduard von Gebhardt, “Christus verabschiedet sich von Thobias,” 1924
Eduard von Gebhardt, “Christus verabschiedet sich von Thobias,” 1924 (photo: Public Domain)

It’s very common for skeptics to point out, wrongly, that since Jesus didn’t specifically stress a particular point, it means he actually endorsed it. This fallacy is called the argument from silence (argumentum ex silentio). For example, since Jesus never spoke about homosexuality, abortion, rape or safecracking, it must mean he’s fine with them. Upon reflection, it seems that there are a great number of additional things Jesus never said including:

1. Everything is relative. You don’t have to take any of this stuff seriously. I certainly don’t.

In actuality, Jesus said: Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by Me. (John 14:6)


2. There will be a time when new philosophies and theologies will come out. I want you to disregard everything I say and do the opposite.

In actuality, Jesus said: “Do not let all kinds of strange teachings lead you from the right way.” (Hebrews 13:9)


3. You have every right to judge others because only you really understand what I mean.

In actuality Jesus said: “When the other servants saw what had happened, they were very upset and went to the king and told him everything. So he called the servant in. ‘You worthless slave!’ he said. ‘I forgave you the whole amount you owed me, just because you asked me to. You should have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you.’ The king was very angry, and he sent the servant to jail to be punished until he should pay back the whole amount. ... That is how my Father in heaven will treat every one of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” (Matthew 18:31-35)


4. There are many gods and I’m just one of them and, frankly, I’m not even the best of the gods.

In actuality Jesus said: “I am the Lord and there is no other; there is no God but me.” (Isaiah 45:5)


5. Life is short! Do whatever you want.

In actuality Jesus said: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14.)


6. You’re right only if you contradict what I say.

In actuality Jesus said: “You are doomed! You call evil good and call good evil. You turn darkness into light and light into darkness. You make what is bitter sweet, and what is sweet you make bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20)


7. Follow your dreams. Your truth is more important than my truth. Be true to yourself!

In actuality Jesus said: “Jesus answered them, ‘Because those Galileans were killed in that way, do you think it proves that they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No indeed! And I tell you that if you do not turn from your sins, you will all die as they did. What about those eighteen people in Siloam who were killed when the tower fell on them? Do you suppose this proves that they were worse than all the other people living in Jerusalem? No indeed! And I tell you that if you do not turn from your sins, you will all die as they did.” (Luke 13:2-5)


8. You’re a good person. There’s no need to repent. I hung out with fun people to encourage them to keep being their authentic selves.

In actuality Jesus said: “I have not come to call respectable people to repent, but outcasts.” (Luke 5:32) 


9.  As long as you’re happy, I’m okay with it.

In actuality Jesus said: “So if your right eye causes you to sin, take it out and throw it away! It is much better for you to lose a part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell.” (Matthew 5:29)


10.  Who am I to judge?

In actuality Jesus said: “When the Son of Man comes as King and all the angels with him, he will sit on his royal throne, and the people of all the nations will be gathered before him. Then he will divide them into two groups, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the righteous people on his right and the others on his left. Then the King will say to the people on his right, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father! Come and possess the kingdom which has been prepared for you ever since the creation of the world. I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you received me in your homes, naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me.’

“The righteous will then answer him, ‘When, Lord, did we ever see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? When did we ever see you a stranger and welcome you in our homes, or naked and clothe you? When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these members of my family, you did it for me!’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Away from me, you that are under God's curse! Away to the eternal fire which has been prepared for the Devil and his angels!” (Matthew 25:31-46)


11.  No one can judge you but I encourage you to judge as many others as you can.

In actuality Jesus said: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-6)


12.  The most self-righteous among you will lead the way for the others. Those who disagree with your “feelings” are to be openly mocked, ridiculed and punished until they conform with your perceptions.

In actuality Jesus said: “Jesus also told this parable to people who were sure of their own goodness and despised everybody else. “Once there were two men who went up to the Temple to pray: one was a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood apart by himself and prayed, ‘I thank you, God, that I am not greedy, dishonest, or an adulterer, like everybody else. I thank you that I am not like that tax collector over there. I fast two days a week, and I give you one tenth of all my income.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance and would not even raise his face to heaven, but beat on his breast and said, ‘God, have pity on me, a sinner!’ I tell you ... the tax collector, and not the Pharisee, was in the right with God when he went home. For those who make themselves great will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be made great.” (Luke 18:9-14)


13.  In selecting role models, find the ones who are the most ignorant of anything I’ve said. Do whatever they say … or not. I really don’t care.

In actuality Jesus said: “How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You give to God one tenth even of the seasoning herbs, such as mint, dill, and cumin, but you neglect to obey the really important teachings of the Law, such as justice and mercy and honesty.” (Matthew 23:23)


14.  My message is basically secondary to anything you can come up with.

In actuality Jesus said: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people — robbers, evildoers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14)


15. You show your love and compassion for others when you attack, denigrate, inconvenience and insult people. You don’t have to be kind, patient or compassionate when you’re making a point.

In actuality Jesus said: “Do for others what you want them to do for you: this is the meaning of the Law of Moses and of the teachings of the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)


16. I urge you to contradict yourself. Hypocrisy is great!

In actuality Jesus said: “How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You lock the door to the Kingdom of heaven in people's faces, but you yourselves don't go in, nor do you allow in those who are trying to enter!” (Matthew 23:13)


17.  Life is a just meaningless nonsense! Everyone’s going to Heaven! Hell doesn’t exist!

In actuality Jesus said: “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.  So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.” (Luke 16:19-31)


18. Justice is vastly overrated. It’s all about revenge. 

In actuality Jesus said: “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.” (Psalm 89:14)


19. Accept those ideas which contradict everything I said.

In actuality Jesus said: “I said, ‘I am the Son of God’” (John 10:36)