· Following Jesus

Essential Jesus Quotes Everyone Should Know

Jesus on boat pointing offshore to Peter

Over the course of His three-year ministry, Jesus said and did many incredible things. His parables offer a fount of wisdom still valuable today. His teachings challenge us to see the world and our relationships differently, and He points us to a better way to live. 

Jesus’ words show us what God thinks and what He values, giving glimpses into the kingdom of God which His followers are called to be ambassadors for. Jesus’ quotes also make it clear who He is and what His purpose was, leaving no room for us to dismiss Him as simply a “good teacher” or “wise man.” He claimed He was the Messiah, come to save the world.

While the Bible doesn’t record everything Jesus did (John 21:25), it does provide us with a wealth of quotes from Jesus on numerous topics. Many of Jesus’ most famous sayings are so popular that they continue to influence the way even secular cultures speak and think today. For example, while there are plenty of similar sayings in other ancient traditions, what we know as “the Golden Rule” originated with Jesus.

It’s also important for followers of Jesus to be familiar with what Jesus did and didn’t say. It’s surprisingly common, for example, to see John 3:16 considered a quote from Jesus, when that was actually John (the author of the Gospel of John) talking about Jesus.

Here are 29 powerful quotes from Jesus, organized by topic.

Jesus said He was God

Jesus never explicitly says, “I am God.” But if you read the gospels, it’s unmistakable that the Jewish leaders and His followers believed He was making this claim. And in context, He is, quite literally, referring to Himself as God, responding to questions about His identity with the same phrase God uses to identify Himself to Moses: “I am” (Exodus 3:14). This was no misunderstanding. Jesus knew exactly what He was implying in John 8:28—and so did His audience. Jesus also used other descriptions of Himself to reveal who He was.

John 8:28

“When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.”

John 10:30

“I and the Father are one.”

John 14:6–7

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Mark 14:62

“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Jesus quotes about worry

While Jesus only spoke about worry on a couple of occasions, He clearly had strong feelings about it. Worrying rarely solves our problems. Instead, it causes them to consume more of our time and attention. It can even reveal a lack of faith, demonstrating that we don’t trust God to meet our needs. But rather than telling people that their problems aren’t worth worrying about, Jesus asks us to look at God’s provision in the natural world around us, and to know that He will meet our needs.

Matthew 6:25

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”

Matthew 6:27

“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

Matthew 6:34

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Jesus quotes about love

Jesus had a lot to say about love. He explained that love is the reason He came and died, the common thread throughout the law and prophets, and the defining characteristic of His followers. But Jesus’ definition of love is far more extravagant than the love most of us experience and learn about from the world around us. His life serves as a model of the radical love we are meant to replicate and embody in our own lives.

Matthew 5:43–46

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?”

Matthew 22:37–40

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

John 13:34–35

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 14:21

“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

John 15:9–13

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Jesus quotes about faith

Faith is another common theme in the Bible. Jesus frequently points out people who demonstrate remarkable faith, and they’re often people who didn’t have important religious titles or pious reputations. Jesus wants us to recognize faith in the ordinary, and to have faith to expect the extraordinary. His words invite us to see just how vast the possibilities are when we place our trust in God.

Luke 8:50

Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”

Mark 9:23

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

Matthew 15:28a

Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” 

Matthew 17:20–21

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 21:22

“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

John 20:29

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Jesus quotes about forgiveness

When someone wrongs us, it’s easy to feel entitled to anger and bitterness. But Jesus reminds us that we are in constant need of forgiveness from God, and He warns that if we don’t forgive others, we can’t expect forgiveness either. And that should make us extremely uncomfortable with setting limits for forgiveness, too.

Matthew 6:14–15

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Luke 6:37

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

Jesus quotes about prayer

If anyone should be telling us how to pray, it’s Jesus. Jesus instructs His followers on how to pray and what examples they should avoid from the religious leaders around them. Some of Jesus’ most important insights into prayer are deeply connected to His words on faith and forgiveness as well.

Matthew 6:5–8

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

Matthew 6:9–13

“This, then, is how you should pray:

‘Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

    on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

    as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

    but deliver us from the evil one.’”

Matthew 7:7–8

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Mark 11:24–26

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Jesus quotes about the kingdom of God

As a representative of God’s kingdom, Jesus is uniquely capable of showing us what it’s like, and what it means to be a member. Jesus often spoke about the kingdom of God, communicating what kingdom citizens looked like, and using parables to help us understand and imagine it more clearly.

John 3:3

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

Matthew 5:10

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:19

“Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 7:21

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 18:2–5

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

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