Reading the Bible is a very rewarding and uplifting experience. The holy book is filled with messages of hope, inspiration and enlightenment. However, it can also be a bit daunting too, primarily because of the length and wording.
Often, when we read the Bible, we find that we have to read certain passages a few times. Did I understand that correctly? Am I getting the right meaning? Some uncertainty is to be expected, but it shouldn’t dissuade us from reading the Bible, because the benefits far outweigh our questions.
However, some parts of the Bible are crystal clear and the message leaves little room for misinterpretation. The words and teachings of Jesus for example, are always clear and easy to absorb. I personally find the teachings of Christ to be the most beautiful and inspiring and I’m happy to share 8 of those blessed passages with our readers:
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Jesus Christ, Matthew 22:36-40
Our lesson is clear: Love the Lord with all of our being — make it a joyful, passionate and complete love. Equally important is to love our neighbors as our self — in other words, love everyone.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” Jesus Christ, John 10:27-30
Notice the words: “my sheep hear my voice” and “My Father, which gave them me…” God the Father, gave we, the flock of sheep, Jesus and God is greater than all and He is all powerful, and Jesus and God are one. If we are truly faithful and give our hearts, minds and soul to Christ, He knows us, as we know Him and no man can change that. This is very exciting, because He is telling us not to fear, because He is with us and we with Him.
“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.” Jesus Christ, Mark 8:34-35
What I take from these words is that if we want to be followers of Jesus, then, now and always, then we must be prepared to suffer (take up our cross) and be fully prepared to reject the trappings of the frail, temporary earthly life — and to live it as Christ teaches, because we lose nothing, but gain everything in return. This too is very exhilarating because I believe Jesus is telling us that this finite earthly life should be lived in preparation to attain our infinite spiritual life and that comes through Jesus.
“Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus Christ, Mark 10:42-45
My understanding of this passage is that if one wants to be a powerful figure — a leader here on earth, then that person must have the best of intentions and be prepared to live life in service to all. Why? Because Jesus, the Son of Man, came among us not so that we could serve Him, but so that He could give His life for us. Wow, that is powerful!
“Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” Jesus Christ, John 4:13-14
This is really awe inspiring. My interpretation of this passage is drink the water (earthly life) and one will be forever thirsty and need to keep drinking. However, drinketh the water that Jesus brings us and we will not only never be thirsty again, but the water Jesus brings us shall be a never ending spring — meaning, it will sustain is for all eternity. What an incredible promise!
“He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.” Jesus Christ, John 8:3
None of us are without sin. This needs little explanation — if, by some chance (no chance) one among us is without sin, then go ahead and judge (cast the first stone) against our fellow man. We’d all do well to remember this one more often.
“What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Jesus Christ, Mark 8:36-38
For me, this teaching means that if we gain the world — wealth, power, influence, material goods — but we lose our soul, we’ve made the biggest mistake of our life. Our soul is eternal and thus, worth more than all the gold on earth. So, why would anyone jeopardize the eternal for the temporary? And the other meaning I believe is that if we are ashamed of our faith in Christ or embarrassed to reject the false promises of our earthly, physical world, then when Christ returns, he will be ashamed of us. I think the message is clear: always choose Christ and our immortal soul.
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” Jesus Christ, Matthew 7:12
What could be simpler than always treating others the way we want to be treated? Don’t harm another, if we don’t want to be harmed. Why be cruel to anyone, if we would be sad if someone is cruel to us? For me, another beautiful message and teaching: Do good, be good. Be kind. Be generous. Life, we all know, is so much better when we’re good and kind to one another.
The Bible is filled with messages and lessons of hope and inspiration and while our personal interpretations may vary a bit, overall, the major takeaway should always be that our purpose here is to make life as beautiful as possible for our self and others. What are your interpretations of these beautiful words from Jesus Christ?