Jesus in His Own Words
Falling in Love with Jesus
Meet the Man who Changed the World in His Own Words
If you’ve ever found yourself wanting to know more about the humble carpenter from Nazareth and how He could truly be the Son of God, the Savior of the World, and the most important person to ever walk the earth, you’re not alone. To be sure, people have been seeking to understand and serve Him since his earthly death some 2000 years ago.
You’ve no doubt heard some (or many) of the stories and teachings attributed to Jesus—but have you ever really considered coming to know Him better through a closer examination of His own words? That’s exactly the opportunity you have in this book, a chance to fall in love with Jesus by taking an in-depth look at some of his most meaningful messages.
In these pages, you’ll find the words of Jesus as He spoke them throughout the Gospels as well as the books of Acts and Revelations paired with a brief analysis of their context and implications. You’ll be challenged, inspired, and motivated to start (or continue) your own walk with Christ. You’ll see how He identified Himself, what claims He made about His relationship to God and man, and what implications those claims had for the world around him.
So if you’re ready to take a journey into the heart and mind of Christianity’s most important figure, then Jesus in His Own Words: A Layman’s Perspective is for you. Whether you’re a new believer, a non-believer, or a lifelong follower of Christ, you’re invited to come and explore the beautiful, transformative message of the Gospel through the words of Jesus Himself.
Incomparable, Radical Love
As you read this book, you’ll quickly realize that Jesus was anything but ordinary. In a time and culture where women were largely considered disposable property, Jesus treated them with the utmost respect and esteem. He crossed racial lines to include Gentiles in His ministry when nobody else would. He socialized with tax collectors and sinners instead of shunning them like the religious leaders of the day. And most importantly, He loved unconditionally—even His enemies.
This radical, inclusive love is at the heart of everything Jesus did and said, and it’s a love that challenges us to step out of our comfort zones today. It’s a love that calls us to forgive those who have hurt us, love our neighbor as ourselves, and extend grace to the undeserving. It’s a love that is often difficult to put into practice, but it’s a love that has the power to change lives and transform us from the inside out.
As you get to know Jesus better through His own words, it is our sincerest prayer that you will experience His incomparable love for yourself and be empowered by God to share that love with others. Because after all, that’s what Christ came to do—change the world through His love.
Ready for real love? Claim your copy now.
Praise for Jesus in His Own Words: A Layman’s Perspective
Take a look at what readers are saying about how this book has impacted their lives and helped them to draw nearer to Jesus.
Incalcuable Kingdom GrowthThere are moments in life where you get to watch something unfold that you can't calculate and realize God has chosen to intervene. We had one of those type of experiences at One Heart Church this past Easter. As we prayed about approaches to reaching out post the covid season we knew we needed more than an invite card. We chose to distribute the amazing book—Jesus In His Own Words! We have been amazed at the impact this has made. First, we had our best attendance in over 2 years! Second, we distributed nearly 1,000 copies to folks all over Atlanta. Finally, we now have people stopping by our church to get additional copies to share with friends and others. This tool is one of the best I have witnessed in many years because I think it takes Jesus' words and puts them front and center in life. I encourage other churches to experience the outreach aspect of this book in impacting lives! PS. We chose to give each member 3 copies—one to read and two to share! It was awesome!
Every Christian should readThe best bringing together of the words spoken by Jesus published. Done in a meaningful way to see Jesus words on each subject
Fantastic and a great valueThis is a wonderful piece of work. It captures the essence of Jesus in very easy to understand explanations of His own words. The organization is also immaculate and conducive to learning for anyone (believer or seeker). I was surprised by the quality of the the book itself in its richness of the leather cover, the high quality of paper, the illustrations, the layout. Like the Bible, it even displays Jesus' words in red, delineating those words from that of the explanations. It looks and feels of quality and that quality is demonstrated further in the author's interpretation of what Jesus says. Can't wait to share with others. This is a winner and a must for anyone interested in the subject, and it is much easier to read than the Bible, which some may find intimidating.
Leverage for Ministry MomentsI am happy to report that the books are being distributed in quick fashion. Our Outreach committee has asked to use them in our guest bags and our guests have been so delighted to receive a copy. We have also begun distributing them in our men’s groups. Both the Wednesday and Saturday morning Bible studies have received one copy with the challenge to think of 2-3 others who might receive encouragement from a copy themselves. A number of the men have returned for additional copies and have been sharing who they are sharing copies with in their family and social networks. I think I had also mentioned to you that our Outreach Committee is very interested in including a copy in our Christmas boxes this year...
This book captures the heart of our mission in life....and challenges our daily lives! A MUST read!This book takes Jesus own words and allows us to connect at a deep and personal level. The focus of every chapter is to bring us closer to Jesus and our life mission! As I read each page I was drawn closer and closer to His heart. In a day when so many things are written this book takes you back to Him...I find it so refreshing. I will read it every year and cherish the insights. I recommend it to everyone who longs to grow close to Jesus and understand Him.
Comforting in a time of sorrowThis little book was given to me as a gift at a time of great sorrow. I found it curiously comforting, very easy to read in small portions. I returned to it again and again. The layman's perspectives on the "word bites of Jesus" (short excerpts from scripture) are to the point and like a balm to my soul. I think this could be a good book to read to children in small bursts, or new believers, or to those, like me, in the midst of heartache. It is a wonderful gift, I think, for anyone and probably just about any occasion. I will definitely use it for gifts and a resource for others in need of respite.
A HandbookThe author obviously did not come up with the content of this book as it came from The Bible. But this John Matthew chap (whoever he is) has organized the subject in a very knowledgeable and expert way while displaying solid writing skills as he adds his own spot-on perspectives. This rather amazing work can serve as a "handbook" for conducting one's life the way Christ encourages us to. If you're a believer and read The Bible anyway you'll devour this book. If not, you will find it extremely easy to read and a promising way to possibly open your eyes to some new and interesting concepts that might profoundly change your life.
Perfect!This book will benefit any reader. I think all of us love the words written in red. I enjoyed the way the author added his wise perspective after each verse. I also loved that he included God's plan for us to know Him. We often complicate this beautiful gift, or some leave it out altogether.
Who Has An Ear…
Throughout his ministry, Jesus consistently made a point to welcome all who were seeking Him. He was never too busy to speak with someone or answer a question, and He always had time for those who needed Him. As you read these pages and encounter His words, we invite you to approach them with an open heart and mind. Read them slowly. Ponder them deeply. Allow them the space to speak into your life.
Just as the love of Christ is freely offered to all who would receive it, so too can this book be used for all who would read it. Whether you’re a skeptic, a new believer, a slumbering believer, or a faithful servant, we pray that the Lord would speak to you through these pages and that you would respond accordingly.
As an Introduction
For those skeptical about Christianity in general or those just beginning their journey, this book can serve as an introduction to the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. With its thematic organizational features, it provides a first-hand account of His character, His claims, and His call to discipleship that is easy to read and understand. The approach features a compilation of powerful verses essential to understanding who He is and why He did what He did.
Jesus in His Own Words: A Layman’s Perspective can also be used as a tool for nurturing a new believer’s walk with the Lord. It can especially be helpful for those who desire to learn more about Christ but are intimidated by the Bible in its entirety. The direct quotes and accompanying commentary offer an accessible means to explore the Word of God and learn more about His life-changing message for our lives. The greatest teacher that ever lived has something amazing to say, and we invite you to come and listen.
As a Reminder
For those who have been a Christian for many years but have become complacent or have lost their passion for the faith, this book can serve as a reminder of all that Jesus has done for us and all that He calls us to do. In a world that so often tries to distract us from what really matters, it can be easy to forget who we are following and why.
And yet we are called to be different from this world, to be set apart for His purposes. Jesus in His Own Words: A Layman’s Perspective can help to rekindle our Christian faith and refocus our attention on the One who saved us, challenging us to live out His commands. This book allows you to rediscover the heart of Christianity by falling in love with Jesus all over again through His own words.
As a Reference
For those who are already Christian believers, this book can serve as a valuable resource for personal growth and reflection. Organized by topic, this book features a thematic table of contents that can easily be referenced for Bible studies or personal devotions. By taking a closer look at the words of Jesus, we are challenged to examine our own lives and align them more closely with His will. We are also given a greater understanding of His love for us and how we can share that love with others.
It also equips Christian believers with a handy resource for sharing their Christian faith. The nature of this book, which features the words of Christ along with an accompanying commentary, provides a non-threatening way to introduce someone to Christianity or to open the door for spiritual discussions. Because it features Christ’s own words at the forefront, it allows for a conversation about Him and His teachings without getting bogged down in arguments about doctrine or other secondary matters.
Purchase your copy and share the love of Jesus today.
Accounts of the Faithful
Providing an account for almost everything we know about Jesus today, the Gospels are the first four books of the Bible’s New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). They offer first-hand accounts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Many of these accounts were written by men who had spent time with Him on earth and were eyewitnesses to His ministry and His miracles. They offer an intimate portrait of a man who was both fully human and fully divine.
Bear in mind that those who transcribed and preserved the words of Christ did so at great risk to their own lives. Indeed, many apostles and early Christians were persecuted and killed for their belief in the Gospel. They were willing to suffer and even give their lives because they knew what they were proclaiming to be true. Driven by a deep love for Christ and a desire to see his message spread throughout the world, they kept the flame of faith alive in the face of great opposition.
It’s also important to remember that the Gospels were not written to provide a complete biography of Jesus. Rather, they were written to provide an account of his teachings and ministry, to give account of who He is and what He did, to demonstrate that He is the Son of God, God in the flesh, and the Savior of the world. In other words, they were meant to be evangelistic in nature, written for the purpose of sharing the good news of Jesus with the world.
The Gospels give us a portrait of Jesus that is different from anything else in history. The claims Christ makes about who He is and what he came to do in these Gospels are so radical, so scandalous they cannot be ignored. According to His own words, He must (as C.S. Lewis puts it) either be “a lunatic, a liar, or the Lord.” There is no middle ground. To reject His claims is to label Him a fraud and a liar. But to accept them is to acknowledge that He is who He said He was the Son of God come to earth and save His people from their sins.
Indeed, Jesus Himself spoke with unparalleled authority about who He was, beginning many of His messages with “Verily” or “Truly” (depending on your translation) with the Greek text using the Hebrew word “Amen.” While amen may simply mean “so be it,” in this context, it takes on a much deeper meaning. When Jesus speaks with Amen, He is affirming that what He’s about to say is true, not just His opinion or interpretation of events. Rather He is speaking with the authority of God Himself. Art Lindsley (author of C.S. Lewis’s Case for Christ, True Truth, Love: The Ultimate Apologetic) puts in succinctly: “Jesus was able to say the ‘amen’ before He spoke…because He was the Amen.”
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at the unique perspectives that each of the Gospel writers offers us.
A tax collector by trade, Matthew was not a well-respected man in Jewish society. Contracted by the Roman Empire to collect on behalf of Caesar from their fellow Jews, tax collectors were often viewed as traitors. So when Matthew is called by Jesus to become His disciple, it’s somewhat of a surprise, but seems to make perfect sense when we understand the role Matthew will play in the Gospel he will write.
The Gospel of Matthew is the first book of the New Testament and was written primarily for a Jewish audience. As such, it goes to great lengths to demonstrate Jesus’ fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy and His status as the promised Messiah. Sometimes referred to as the “Gospel of the Kingdom,” Matthew tells us that Jesus came to establish the kingdom of God on earth. It is a kingdom in which the poor are blessed, the outcasts are included, and the sinners are welcome. This is in stark contrast to the Jewish kingdoms of the day, which were based on things like power, prestige, and wealth.
Matthew knew his audience well and wrote his Gospel in a way that would speak to their needs and interests. He included multitudinous Old Testament references and prophecies that would resonate with his Jewish readers to prove that Jesus was indeed the long-awaited Messiah who had come to fulfill all of God’s promises.
Though Mark was not among Jesus’ original 12 disciples, he did serve as a close companion to the apostle Peter and was privy to many of the stories and teachings that Peter would later share with the world. The book of Mark is believed to be the first of the Gospels, written in Rome for the early church, and it seems to be directed at a Gentile audience as it does not include as many Old Testament references as the book of Matthew.
The book of Mark is sometimes referred to as the “Gospel of Action” as it focuses heavily on the miracles that Jesus performed and the suffering that He endured. Mark wants his readers to know that Jesus is a man of action, not just words. His Gospel features a Jesus who is always on the move, healing the sick, teaching the crowds, and bringing hope to those who are lost.
Mark’s Gospel also emphasizes the cost of discipleship, something that would have been readily apparent to the early Christian believers who were being persecuted for their beliefs. As followers of Jesus, they too would have to be prepared to suffer and even die for what they believed. But Mark also shows us that it is through our suffering that we find true life in Christ.
Luke, on the other hand, was a Gentile physician who likely wrote his Gospel for a mixed audience. Luke makes it clear early on his Gospel that he was not an eyewitness to the ministry of Jesus, but rather wrote his account from the eyewitness accounts of others. He was a close companion of the apostle Paul and had access to many of the stories that Paul would have heard from Peter and the other disciples.
The book of Luke is sometimes referred to as the “Gospel of Compassion” because of the way it highlights Jesus’ concern for those who are marginalized by society. Luke shows us a Jesus who is always reaching out to the poor, the sick, and the lost. He is a Jesus who loves unconditionally and welcomes all people, no matter who they are or what they have done.
This is perhaps best seen in the story of the prodigal son, which is only found in the Gospel of Luke. In this parable, we see a father who shows forgiveness and love to his wayward son despite the fact that he has squandered his inheritance. This story speaks to Luke’s concern for those who have been excluded from society and reminds us that all are welcome in the kingdom of God.
The fourth and final Gospel is that of John, the beloved disciple and eyewitness to His miracles and ministry on earth. John was one of Jesus’ 12 original disciples and is traditionally believed to be the only one to have survived into old age. He likely wrote his Gospel toward the end of his life when he was living in Ephesus with other members of the Church.
John’s Gospel is sometimes referred to as the “Gospel of Love” due to its focus on the love that Jesus has for the world, not just Jewish or Christian believers. This is a radical statement of love and inclusion that would have been unheard of in the first century. In John’s Gospel, we see a Jesus who is not only full of compassion and mercy, but also willing to lay down His life as payment for our sins.
John’s Gospel goes further than any other to show us that Jesus is not just a man, but also God. His opening does not begin with a nativity story; rather, he tells us that Jesus is the Word who was with God in the beginning and that He is God. While this claim would have been met with hostility from both Jews and Gentiles, John doesn’t stop there. He goes on to show us that Jesus is not just some type of divine being, but that He is the one true God who has come to save us from our sins.
While the Gospels were written about Jesus, they were written for those who would come after Him. They were written to show us who Jesus is and what He has done for us. But they were also written to challenge us to follow him. Each of the Gospels calls us to a different response, but they all have a common goal—to lead us into a personal relationship with the one living God. Jesus in His Own Words: A Layman’s Perspective seeks to do the same thing. It is our hope and prayer that God will speak to your heart, and you find yourself falling in love with Jesus as you delve into his message.
Jesus in His Own Words: A Layman’s Perspective does not contain all the recorded words of Jesus as found in the Bible since its purpose is to provide readers with a succinct, yet meaningful, overview of who Jesus is by analyzing His own words. It is a collection of 201 quotes from the Gospels as well as a few verses from the book of Acts and Revelation that show us who Jesus is and what He came to do.
The scriptures used in this book come from the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible [ESV.org]. The ESV is an “essentially literal” translation of the Bible in modern English. This means that, while the ESV seeks to be true to the original meaning of the text, it also features understandable language for a 21st century audience.
The ESV was chosen for this text because of its commitment to accuracy, literary distinction, and overall readability. However, with so many other excellent translations of the Bible available today, readers are welcome to use any version they prefer to support their understanding and grow closer to Christ. No matter which translation you choose, the important thing is that you read the words of Jesus and allow Him to speak to your heart.
Practical, Applicable Organization
Even if you’ve never opened a Bible, you’ll find that the organizational features of this book make it simple and practical to use. Its topical structure allows readers to get straight to the topics that interest them or study matters they need help with as they walk with Christ.
At the beginning of each section, you’ll find a short introduction to help you understand the context of the quotes that follow. The goal of these reflections is not to provide easy answers or simple solutions, but rather to help you think more deeply about who Jesus is and draw you nearer to the unfailing, unfathomable love of God. Our sincerest hope is that as you fall deeper into His love for humanity, you’ll grow more in His likeness and pass His love on to others.
Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the Christian faith is the belief that Jesus is Son of God, both fully human and fully divine. This seems like a contradiction, but it is actually at the heart of who Jesus is. His humanity allows Him to understand our pain and suffering; His divinity allows Him to offer forgiveness, redemption, and eternal life. In this first section, we’ll explore who Jesus claims to be. We’ll look at His names, His titles, and what He has to say about Himself.
Equally important to understanding who Jesus is, is understanding why He came. In this section, we’ll explore Jesus’ mission on earth and what it means for us today. We’ll look closely at things like His call to repentance, His offer of forgiveness, and His promise of life everlasting.
His Fulfillment of Prophecy
Just as Matthew and Luke both begin their Gospels with a genealogy of Jesus, they also both include several Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled by his birth. This is because the Jews of Jesus’ day were looking for a Messiah, or Savior, who would rescue them from their enemies and establish an everlasting kingdom. They were expecting a conquering earthly king who would free them from Roman rule. And while the Messianic prophecies include both a conquering king and a suffering servant, the furthest thing from the Jews’ mind at the time was that the Messiah would come as a suffering servant who would die a criminal’s death on a cross. These prophecies foretold of Jesus’ coming, but they also reveal His character and His mission. In this section, we’ll explore some of these messianic prophecies and see how they were fulfilled through Jesus.
One of the primary ways that Jesus showed His divinity was through the miracles He performed. From raising the dead to calming the storm, these supernatural acts not only validated His claims to be the Son of God, but they also met the needs of those He encountered. In this section, we’ll explore some of the well-known miracles that Jesus performed and see what they can teach us about who He is.
Teachings on Life in the Kingdom of God
The teachings of Jesus on the kingdom of God are further divided into two separate sections: the way and the walk. In the Way of the Kingdom, we’ll explore what it means for a Christian to live for God. This includes topics such as righteousness, forgiveness, and repentance. In the Walk of the Kingdom, we’ll look at what it means to be an active participant in God’s kingdom. This includes topics like love, obedience, and service.
Words to His Disciples
Throughout His ministry on earth, Jesus called twelve men to be His closest followers. These disciples left everything to follow Him, and in return, Jesus poured Himself into them. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the things Jesus said to his disciples and see what they can teach us about what it means to be a follower of Christ. And although Paul was not among the original twelve, he was later counted as an apostle. We’ll also explore some of Jesus’ words to him in this section.
Jesus prayed with and for his disciples throughout his time on earth. He also spent time alone in prayer communing with the Father. In this section, we’ll learn more about how to pray, how to find strength in prayer, and how to know that our prayers are heard.
As Jesus’ popularity grew, so did the opposition against Him. The religious leaders of His day were threatened by His teachings and His miracles. They began to look for things (and make up things) to use to discredit Him and eventually have Him arrested. In this section, we’ll examine Jesus’ response to such opposition and determine what we can learn from His example.
His Death and Resurrection
Jesus predicted his betrayal, death, and resurrection several times throughout His ministry. Because he knew His sacrifice was necessary to make a way for us, He went willingly to the cross. His resurrection is the central event of Christianity and is the proof that He is who He claims to be—the Son of God. In this section we’ll explore Jesus’ final days on earth and examine what His death and resurrection mean for us today.
His Offer of Salvation
The core message of Christianity is the good news that Christ died to save us from our sins. His offer of salvation is available to anyone who believes in Him, but it is up to us to decide if we will accept or reject this precious gift. In this section, we’ll explore what it means to believe in Jesus and how to receive His gift of eternal salvation.
Jesus spoke often of His return, and the Bible gives us a clear picture of the things that will happen in the end times. In this section, we’ll take a look at what Jesus says about His second coming and what we can expect in the days leading up to it.
Discover the love that’s been waiting for you.
It Only Takes a Spark
Chances are, you know someone who is falling apart. Maybe they’re going through a tough time at work, or they’re dealing with a difficult family situation. Perhaps they’re struggling with addiction, or they’re trying to overcome a traumatic event. Whatever the case may be, we all know someone who could use a little extra love and support.
Once we have experienced the love of God, we are compelled (and commanded) to pass it on to others. Jesus in His Own Words: A Layman’s Perspective provides the perfect opportunity to share the Gospel with someone who may be searching for answers. This book is a tool to help you start conversations about falling in love (and staying in love) with Christ. We pray sincerely that all who receive this offering will discover true forgiveness and purpose in His promises and find themselves falling in love with Jesus as they get to know Him better through his own words.
Transformation in Progress
When you choose to accept the love of Jesus Christ, you will begin to change in ways you never thought possible. As you fall deeper in love with Him, you’ll find that He starts to transform your heart and mind into His likeness. This Christian transformation can be slow and subtle, or it can happen suddenly and dramatically. But one thing is for sure: when Jesus Christ comes into our lives, we are never the same.
If you’re seeing evidence of transformation, know that it’s only the beginning. The more you fall in love with Jesus, the more He will change you to be like Him. As you grow in your relationship with Him, you’ll find that His love transforms every area in your life, from the way you think and feel, to the way you live and relate to others.
If you’ve never accepted the love of Jesus and are ready to trust Him now, you can use this simple prayer written by the late Billy Graham:
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