“10 Things Jesus Never Said…and why you should STOP believing them” Written by Will Davis Jr., Published by Revell, 2011.
I was pretty sure I had the general premise or direction of this book figured out before I ever opened it. Having read the author’s other book, “Pray Big”, I was just looking forward to getting his perspective because I really appreciated his fresh style that made me think and occasionally say ouch. What I didn’t aticipate was our mode of transportation for this trip. The vehicle used to transport us to the truth is my favorite text, Jesus’ words of comfort and invitation from Matthew 11:28-30.
As I started reading, I began to wonder if I would make it out of the first chapter. I have always considered this passage as “mine.” Just ask my husband. He thinks he’s heard every possible message on it. But he like me had never read Will Davis’ take. I wept through the whole chapter. It was exactly the message my wounded and weary soul needed.
I am certainly glad that I have my own copy of the book. Almost every page has underlining and notes. Many pages are dogearred. Exclamation points, amens, and arrows are thrown in throughout. I got so excited about the message and invitation to move into or return to a deeper relationship with the giver of grace that I hinted to my Sunday school class that I had found our next study before I was even done reading the book!
I was able to see how this material could lend itself to a study with established ‘churchized’ folks, but also how it would be applicable and appropriate for people whose woundedness has kept them feeling like they could never feel welcome in a church, even if they wanted to go inside. Each chapter ends with Jesus’ invitation, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened.” Those words are just as fresh and necessary today as they were two thousand years ago.
Pastor Davis anchors his points solidly in scripture. His examples and case studies are relevent and broad enough in their scope so as to not come across as finger pointing or judgmental. At the close of his examening each of the lies, or things that Jesus never said but we have somehow come to believe, there are a set of questions that can be used for personal or group study.
When I came to the end of the book I found an appendix. Its title is “You’re Disqualified Because You’re Divorced.” I’m not divorced, so I almost didn’t read it. But because I do know several people who are divorced, including my daughter, I decided to at least see what the author had to say on the subject. This is the one place I found myself disagreeing with Will Davis. This chapter is far too valuable to be tucked in at the very end, appearing as a possible afterthought. I found myself finishing this book as I had started it: in tears! It is a tender treatise on the topic, with truths that shine light on almost each of the ten lies previously discussed in the book.
I stumbled across Will Davis Jr’s writing in January of this year when I found his book, “Pray Big” at my public library. I wasn’t sure, but gave it a read. I was blown away by the fresh approach to a topic everyone thinks they know everything about. I was ready to go out and buy a case so I could just start giving the books away. When I finished “Ten Things Jesus Never Said” I was ready to buy two cases. To say that I recommend this book barely comes close enough to how strongly I want to urge you to read it. I found healing in these pages, and a restored sense of my place in the yoke beside the Master. Don’t miss this one!
In case you’re wondering what Jesus never said:
- You’re Too Far Gone to Be Saved
- I’m So Disappointed in You
- This Wouldn’t Be Happening If You Were a Better Christian
- It’s Okay Not to Love Certain People
- Everyone Should Believe and Act Like You Do
- It’s All Up to You
- You Don’t Have to Forgive Someone Who Really Hurts You
- You Missed My Will for Your Life
- This Is a Cross You Must Bear