New light on the 'hard' sayings of Jesus

by William Neil (published by Mowbrays Oxford and London 1975)

Category (key words): Books, William Neil, Spiritual Growth, Faith, Christianity, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Quotations, Thoughts, Thoughts on Jesus, “Inspiration, Spiritual”, Inspirational Writings (enough there now, craig)

Submitter's Note:
Here are my notes that I took to summarize this most revealing book by William Neil giving fresh insights into the life and teachings of Jesus. In sharing this piece, I hope to "shine some light of understanding" on the life and spirit of Jesus Christ. Hope it's not too "heavy heavy religious" for you. Enjoy...
Chapter 1:
1 Reconciliation
2 Peace through strife
3 The Power of Faith
4 Christians and War
5 Outcasts
6 Keeping the Sabbath
7 The Unforgivable Sin
8 The Christian Brotherhood
"Whoever does the will of God is my brother, my sister, my mother" (Mark 3:35)
9 Parables
10 To him that hath shall be given
11 The Healing Power of Christ
12 Our True Selves
13 Tolerance
14 Self-discipline
15 Marriage and Divorce
16 Jesus and Children
17 The Money Problem
18 Church and State
19 Life after Death
20 Answered Prayer
21 Self-righteousness
22 Gratitude
23 Renouncing the World
24 The Problem of Pain
25 Repentance
"There will be greater joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who do not need to repent" (Luke 15:7)
26 Single-mindedness
27 Doing our Duty
28 The Kingdom of God
29 Twice-born
30 Jews
31 Life and Death
32 The Bread of Life
33 'And was made Man'
34 Christ the Conquerer
"I am in the Father and the Father is in me."

In the beginning was the Word.

A life lived in the spirit of Jesus will never die.

Embrace new life.

Christianity is God's search for humanity.

His Teachings:

Jesus taught that we should be the change we'd like to see in the world. YOU be the change you wish to see in the world.
In Him we find true hope and joy.
God's Spirit is LOVE
The Main Message(s) of Jesus
In brief, the values (and virtues) of:
* Tolerance and acceptance
* What we have in common is far greater than what divides us
* Care and compassion towards others
* Honour and respect
* Integrity and self-denial
* Personal responsibility and accountability
* Peace through justice and reconciliation


Chapter 1: Reconciliation not Retaliation
"If someone slaps you on the right cheek,
turn and offer him your left...
Love your enemies."
- Matthew 5:39,44

Followers should be guided by a desire for reconciliation. Respond to harshness with kindness, cultivate a spirit of generosity.

"Love your enemies." (Matt 5:44) These memorable words must be seen in their proper context. Here Jesus is taking about personal relationships and not about nations at war, or enemies of the state. More importantly, when he says 'love', he does not mean 'like'!

Clearly Jesus does not expect his followers to love those who do them an injury in the same way as they love their wives and families, their parents and their best friends.
God's Spirit is LOVE.
"Do not let evil conquer you, but use good to defeat evil."
- Romans 12:21

Chapter 2: Peace Through Strife

"You must not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth: I have not come to bring peace, but a sword."
(Matt. 10:34)

"All who take the sword die by the sword

Here Jesus is not speaking of war at all, either of war between nations or of civil war within the same nation, but of conflict within the same family.

"Do you suppose that I came to establish peace on earth? No indeed, I have come to bring division."
(Luke 12:51)

Jesus stood for a real and lasting peace and not a bogus peace. His peace must be fought for and that involves conflict and division. As followers of Christ we are committed to fight against the evil in ourselves and in our society, in the light of the guidance we have been given. It's a battle against greed and selfishness, against cruelty and oppression, against injustice and indifference, wherever they may be found. The gospel is a gospel of peace through strife (and struggle), not a peace through apathy or evasion of responsibility. Standing up for what you believe to be true and right!

As St Paul says, "speak the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15)
Chapter 3: The Power of Faith

"If you have faith bigger than a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain,
'Move from here to there!', and it will move;
nothing will prove impossible for you."
(Matthew 17:20)

Even the tiniest portion of faith can achieve results that are comparable to shifting mountains. Jesus is saying, men and women with faith can do things which seem just as absurd and impossible.

The author of Hebrews says faith means trusting in God despite all opposition and discouragement, venturing forward into an unknown future, believing that God has a purpose for every one of us and for the world.
Look to Jesus, who himself has run the same race and reached the goal towards which we all strive, eternal life in the presence of God.
Be a protector of the underprivileged.
Chapter 4: Christians and War
"All who take the sword die by the sword."
(Matthew 26:52)

Jesus and his followers were on the side of peace.
Christians may fight provided the war is fought in a just cause.
But then what is a JUST war? And in an ideal world there would be NO wars!
In the event of war, every follower of Christ is faced with a choice between two evils, to fight or to surrender, and each man must decide for himself which evil is the greater. Press
for policies of reconciliation.

Chapter 9: Using Parables

This method of story-telling was to make people think.
With faith from small beginnings, God can bring a bumper harvest.

Jesus called on people to turn their backs on the past and embrace a new life. The message of God's love and forgiveness, the 'secret of the kingdom of God'.
Chapter 10: To Him that Hath Shall Be Given

"For the man who has will be given more, and the man who has not will forfeit even what he has."
(Mark 4:25)

Jesus was more concerned with the use of wealth, than with the possession of wealth, In the parable of the ten talents there is a deeper meaning. What Jesus is saying is what matters is not the gifts we possess, but the use we make of them.

"The man* (or woman) who has will always be given more... and the man (or woman) who has not, will forfeit even what he/she has."
Here Jesus is speaking of spiritual matters and not material things.

We must make the most of the insights we have received. It is in this sense that 'the man who has will be given more'.
We need the inward strength that comes from a closer walk with God and Jesus has pointed the way. So we have to deepen our knowledge of God and enrich our spiritual life, by using the means of GRACE that God provides.
Jesus offers each one of us a CHOICE... to the way of life... new life.

Chapter 11: The Healing Power of Christ
"My daughter, your faith has cured you.
Go in peace, free for ever from this trouble...
The child is not dead, she is asleep."
(Mark 5:34,39)

His miracles violated the natural order

Chapter 12: Our True Selves

"What does a man gain by winning the whole world at the cost of his true self."
(Mark 8:36)
Jesus had a strong sense of destiny and was convinced that his Messiahship must be peaceful and not war-like, and that his sovereignty must be expressed in service.
"What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

In short, live with integrity (absolute). Christ chose and commended the path of integrity and self-denial. Devote oneself to good causes through self-sacrifice, self-denial and self-giving. This is the abundant life to which Jesus calls us.

A life lived in the spirit of Christ is eternal - it will never die!

Shine your own bright light as you travel along YOUR unique and magical journey of life

Shared by craig

"True success is just being the person you really want to be."

"The task ahead of you can always be overcome by the power within you...and the often seemingly difficult or even "impassible") path ahead of you is never as steep with the great spirit that lies within you."

Using words as our weapons, lets see how many hearts can be transformed from hate into... perhaps even love...
and only God can do that!

I hope that these notes may be helpful and perhaps even “illuminating” to you.

"Together, one mind, one soul at a time, let's see how many people we can impact, empower, encourage and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials
End of Part One (Part Two to follow)


"Our talents are our gifts from God, but what we do with them are our gifts TO God."

“Where love endures, hope inevitably follows.”
- craig

Author's Bio: 

About the submitter:

In his life mission Craig hopes to encourage, motivate and inspire people to be their best through realising their full potentials and live happy and successful, their very best lives (without being too much of a “boring Mr Goody-goody two shoes” (as he’s lost the other one). Craig believes in the great potential of every human being in the journey of life and loves to encourage people to share their individual (and guiding) spirits, so that they become all that they are CAPABLE of being.

The various books that Craig "felt inspired to write" are available at: https://www.xinxii.com/adocs.php?aid=16831
http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock www.creativekiwis.com/index.php/books/74-craigs-books + www.lulu.com/craiglock

The submitter's blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is at http://craiglock.wordpress.com

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"Together, one mind, one soul at a time, let's see how many people we can impact, empower, encourage and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials."