Sermon quotes on jesus

Karl Barth

Jesus does not give recipes that show the way to God as other teachers of religion do. He is Himself the way.

Karl Barth

Total need requires total help

Frederick Beuchner

Jesus Christ is what God does, and the cross where God did it.

Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC’s of Faith

G.K. Chesterton

They took the body down from the cross and one of the few rich men among the first Christians obtained permission to bury it in a rock tomb in his garden the Romans setting a military guard lest there should be some riot and attempt to recover the body. There was once more a natural symbolism in these natural proceedings; it was well that the tomb should be sealed with all the secrecy of ancient eastern sepulture and guarded by the authority of the Caesars. For in that second cavern the whole of that great and glorious humanity which we call antiquity was gathered up and covered over; and in that place it was buried. It was the end of a very great thing called human history; the history that was merely human. The mythologies and the philosophies were buried there, the gods and the heroes and the sages. In the great Roman phrase, they had lived. But as they could only lives, so they could only die, and they were dead.

 The Everlasting Man


Elisabeth Elliot

If we do anything to further the kingdom of God, we may expect to find what Christ found on that road – abuse, indifference, injustice, misunderstanding, trouble of some kind. Take it. Why not? To that you were called. In Latin America someone who feels sorry for himself is said to look like a donkey in a downpour. If we think of the glorious fact that we are on the same path with Jesus, we might see a rainbow.

Eugene Peterson

St. Paul tells us that Jesus Christ, the revelation of God become human, “set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death-and the worst kind of death at that: crucifixion” (Phil. 2:5-8, The Message) In other words, when God became man, revealing to us our sheer humanity, he didn’t come in the form of a superhuman, but “experienced the poverty of human existence more deeply and more excruciatingly than any other man could.” He became absolutely poor and of no account: ‘a root out of dry ground…no form or comeliness…despised and rejected…we esteemed him not” (Isa. 53:2-3 RSV)

Tell it Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in hi Stories and Prayers.

Eugene Peterson

When we listen to and follow Jesus, who lived in continual dependence on his Father, we become convinced of our poverty as men and women. We realize our absolute neediness. We are all beggars. Father give us bread. Friend, lend us three loaves. Being human means that we are the poorest and most incomplete of all creatures. Our needs are beyond our capacities.

Tell it Slant: A Conversation on the Language of Jesus in hi Stories and Prayers.

Dallas Willard

Obedience is an essential outcome of Christian spiritual formation.

Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ

John Ortberg

Too often we argue about Christianity instead of marveling at Jesus.

Timothy Keller

Jesus doesn’t just give us truths; he is the truth. Jesus is the prophet to end all prophets. He gives us hard-copy words from God, truths on which we can build our lives, truths we have to submit to, truths we have to obey, and truths we have to build our lives on, but he himself is the truth.

Jaroslav Pelikan 

Jesus of Nazareth has been the dominant figure in the history of Western culture for almost twenty centuries. If it were possible, with some sort of super magnet, to pull up out of that history every scrap of metal bearing at least a trace of his name, how much would be left?”

Jesus Through the Centuries: His Place in the History of Culture, Yale University Press.

Frederick William Faber

Jesus belongs to us. He vouchsafes to put Himself at our disposal. He communicates to us everything of His which we are capable of receiving.

All For Jesus: Or, The Easy Ways Of Divine Love, John Murphy.

Glen Scrivener

The hope is held out [in Genesis] that one day the Son would be a second Adam, born to answer the first. . . . And this second Adam would give us a second family to belong to—God’s.

Long Story Short: The Bible in 12 Phrases, Christian Focus Publishing

J.D. Salinger

Who [in the Bible] besides Jesus really knew which end was up? Nobody. . . . Jesus realized there is no separation from God.

Napoleon Bonaparte

I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creation of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.

P.T. Forsyth

Christ is to us just what his cross is. All that Christ was in heaven or on earth was put into what he did there…Christ, I repeat, is to us just what his cross is. You do not understand Christ till you understand his cross.

The Cruciality of the Cross

Thomas Oden

It becomes difficult if not impossible to build a plausible Christology out of a naive, mistaken, hapless, or ignorant Jesus.

After Modernity– What?: Agenda for Theology.

Russ Ramsey

In terms of time and space, the scale of Jesus’s earthly ministry was small—three years in a parcel of land where the corners of the world came together.

Behold the King of Glory: A Narrative of the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Crossway.

Jonathan Wilson

In Christ as sacrifice, God our judge is judged in our place, reveals our perpetration of and collaboration with sin, ends our rebellion, forgives our guilt, cleanses us, makes us righteous, and establishes us in the kingdom of peace.

God So Loved the World, Baker.

Karl Barth

Union with Christ is the starting-point for everything else to be thought and said concerning what makes the Christian a Christian.

Church Dogmatics, vol. 4, part 3.2, “The Doctrine of Reconciliation” (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1988), 549.

P. Carnegie Simpson

We had thought intellectually to examine him; we find he is spiritually examining us. The roles are reversed between us…A person may study Jesus with intellectual impartiality, he cannot do it with moral neutrality…We must declare our colours.

The Fact of Christ, 1930; James Clarke edition, 1952, pp. 23, 24.

C.S. Lewis

The discrepancy between the depth and sanity, and (let me add) shrewdness, of his moral teaching and the rampant megalomania which must lie behind his theological teaching unless he is indeed God, has never been satisfactorily got over.


James Denney

This separateness from sinners is not a little, but a stupendous thing; it is the presupposition of redemption; it is that very virtue in Christ without which he would not be qualified to be a Saviour, but would, like us, need to be saved.

Studies in Theology, Hodder and Stoughton, 9th edition, 1906, p. 41.

Malcolm Muggeridge

Precisely how a man nailed to a cross 2,000 years ago, who claimed to be the Son of God, came to signify reality, in contradiction to the sawdust men of destiny with their fraudulent wars and revolutions and liberations, is something that can be understood, but not explained. You either see it or you don’t.

William Barclay

He did not desire to dominate men; He desired only to serve men. He did not desire His own way; He desired only God’s way.

Henry Law

He, whom no infinitudes can hold, is contained within infant’s age, and infant’s form. Can it be, that the great “I am that I am” shrinks into our flesh? . . . What self-denial, what self-abasement, what self-emptying is here!


The aroma of the knowledge of God comes from Christ and through Christ. The reason why Paul said “aroma” was this: Some things are recognized by their smell, even though they are invisible. God, who is invisible, wishes to be understood through Christ.

The preaching of Christ reaches our ears just as an aroma reaches our nostrils, bringing God and his only-begotten Son right into the midst of his creation. A person who speaks the truth about Christ is just such a good aroma from God, worthy of praise from the one who believes. But one who makes erroneous assertions about Christ has a bad smell to believers and unbelievers alike.

Quoted in Gerald L. Bray, and Thomas C. Oden, Origen of Alexandria, , eds., Romans (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998), p.210.

Harold Best

Nonetheless, this singular fact, full to the bursting, remains. It is a fact grounded in infinite outpouring: Christ is in me; I am in Christ. . . . Christ in me is not some narrow, introspective, disembodied, private, even embarrassing fact, specially savored by a narrow sect within the larger Christian community. It is an all-encompassing, all-empowering fact from which no quarter of my worship can be excused.

Unceasing Worship, p.57

Charles Hodge

We could search the world over, but we could not find a man so low, so degraded, or so far below the social, economic, and moral norms that we have established for ourselves that he had not been created in the image of God.

Systematic Theology, Vol.2, Scribner, 1965, p.99.

Eduard Lohse

When Jesus is called Rabbi by His disciples and others, this shows that He conducted Himself like the Jewish scribes.

“Rabbi,” in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 6:961-65.

David Flusser

It is easy to observe that Jesus was far from uneducated. He was perfectly at home both in holy scripture and in oral tradition, and he knew how to apply this scholarly heritage.

Jesus, p. 30.

Kenneth E. Bailey

Jesus appears in the Gospels as a theologian who begins with a mastery of the tradition and then reshapes it by offering a new vision centered on his own person.

Taken from Jacob & the Prodigal: How Jesus Retold Israel’s Story by Kenneth E. Bailey Copyright (c) 2009 by Kenneth E. Bailey. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL.

Douglas John Hall

If I am asked, “Do you believe in the divinity of Christ?” I answer, “Yes, otherwise how could he have been so wonderfully human?” And if I am asked, “Do you believe in the humanity of Christ?” I answer, “Yes, otherwise how could he have been so profoundly oriented toward God?”   

Shane Claiborne

The whole Bible is God’s Word to us, but Jesus is the sniff test through which we understand it all.

Rethinking Life: Embracing the Sacredness of Every Person (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Books, 2023)

St. John Chrysostom

The disciples are tossed on the waves again. They are in a storm, fully as bad as the previous one. Gently and by degrees he excites and urges the disciples on toward greater responsiveness, even to the point of bearing all things nobly. Whereas in the previous storm they had him with them in the ship, now they were alone by themselves…Now he is leading them into a greater degree of challenge…This was all for their training, that they might not look for some easy hope of preservation from any earthly source…He cast them directly into a situation in which they would have a greater longing for him and a continual remembrance of him.

The Gospel of Matthew Homily 50.1, from The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture

Bob Goff

What I’ve come to realize is if I really want to “meet Jesus,” then I have to get a lot closer to the people He created. All of them, not just some of them.

Randy Alcorn

People had only to look at Jesus to see what God is like. People today should only have to look at us to see what Jesus is like.

The Grace and Truth Paradox: Responding with Christlike Balance (Multnomah, 2003).

John Stott

Nevertheless, what was shameful, even odious, to the critics of Christ, was in the eyes of his followers most glorious. They had learnt that the servant was not greater than the master, and that for them as for him suffering was the means to glory. More than that, suffering was glory, and whenever they were ‘insulted because of the name of Christ’, then ‘the Spirit of glory’ rested upon them.

Taken from The Cross of Christ by John Stott. Copyright (c) 1976, 2006, Kindle Location 763 by John Stott. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL.

N. T. Wright

The kingdom of the Christ-child gets to work when we stop, and pause, and look in wonder once more at the baby lying in the manger, and like Mary ponder in our hearts what it all means. Only through deep devotion to the child who is born to us, the son who is given to us, can we make sure that the government really is upon his shoulders, and so prevent our good intentions being misdirected to serve our own ends, real or imagined. 

O hush the noise, ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing: we come here tonight, aware that the kingdom Jesus came to bring needs to be worked out in the real and tough challenges that lie ahead of us globally, nationally and locally but aware, too, that if it is Jesus’ kingdom we are working out we cannot get enough of Jesus himself, cannot worship him enough, cannot ponder him enough, cannot invoke him enough, cannot love and adore him enough, cannot taste him enough.

“The Government Shall Be Upon His Shoulders” (2008).

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