How Well Do You Know the Teachings of Jesus and The Gospel?

By: Torrance Grey
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

The gospels, containing Jesus's life story and teachings, are the foundation of the New Testament. Some Bible publishers consider Jesus's own words so important that they printed them in red. Do you have a solid grasp on this part of the Bible? Find out now with our quiz!

What is Jesus's most famous sermon called?

Some of the gospels' most well-known aphorisms come from this sermon, which begins in Matthew chapter 5. It includes the sayings, "You are the light of the world" and "If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out; it is better to lose one of your members than for your whole body to enter into hell."

Where did Jesus choose to begin his preaching career?

Biblical scholars believe that it is possible that Jesus, who was trained as a carpenter, worked repairing boats in Galilee. So the first men he called to be his disciples, the fishermen Peter, Andrew, James and John, might have been friends he first knew in that capacity.

In his teachings, Jesus sometimes refers to the Gentiles. Who were they?

Anyone who was not a Jew is a Gentile. The term is still in use today, and now includes Christians, though the very first followers of Christ were Jewish.

Jesus told stories to illustrate his points. What are these stories commonly called?

If you're wondering why "fables" wouldn't work here as well, because fables also teach lessons, an English professor would tell you that traditionally, fables are stories in which animals speak and behave as people. Jesus's stories had humans as their subjects.

What is the name of the list of virtues that begins "Blessed are the poor in spirit"?

The word "beatitude" commonly means "blessing," because Jesus started each of them with the words "Blessed are ..." They serve as a kind of "new Ten Commandments," except that, as laid out, in Matthew 5, there are only nine of them.

What is the name of the prayer that Jesus outlines in Matthew Chapter 6?

The Lord's Prayer ends with the phrase "and deliver us from evil." The closing words "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever, amen" are a later addition, commonly heard in Protestant churches.

"Let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing" refers to what practice?

Jewish practice of that day put a great deal of importance on giving money to the poor (and still does to this day). Jesus believed in this, too, but wanted this followers to be modest about their giving, not making a show of it.

Jesus said, "I come not to abolish (the law) but to _____ it."

Jesus said this during the Sermon on the Mount probably because his listeners, who were likely all Jewish, badly needed reassurance on this point. Much of what Jesus was saying conflicted with what they'd been taught all their lives -- about divorce, about prayer, about the commandments in general. Here, Jesus is assuring them that he is not telling them to forswear their religious and cultural heritage, but to view it in a different light.

Which of these sayings is NOT in the Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in Matthew?

We specify the book of Matthew here because Matthew recounts the Sermon at greater length than the other gospels. However, it should be noted that some scholars believe Matthew included teachings from other occasions in this three-chapter segment -- the writer favored long stretches of teachings at once.

Which of these teachings is now known as the Golden Rule?

Jesus said that this simple commandment fulfilled the law and the prophets. It also underscores the chief difference between Jesus's teaching in the Sermon on the Mount and the law of that day -- the involvement of the heart or intentions in doing the right thing. This point comes up again and again in the Sermon.

Which of these is the name of a demon that Jesus cast out of a man?

In Mark Chapter 5, Jesus meets a demon-haunted man and asks the spirit inside its name. The man answers, "My name is Legion; for we are many." Jesus sends the spirits into a herd of pigs, which then run into the sea and are drowned.

Jesus's teachings were increasingly opposed by the Pharisees. Who were they?

During the Second Temple period, in which Jesus lived, the Pharisees were religious leaders. They were rivals to the Sadducees, who were more upper-class and less populist than the Pharisees.

When Jesus sent out his disciples to preach, what was this called?

Today, we often think of a "commission" as something a salesperson earns on a sale. But in this case, Jesus is "committing" his disciples to a certain path in life -- that of teaching, healing, and casting out demons.

Did Jesus want his disciples to preach to the Gentiles?

In Matthew 10, Jesus says, "Go nowhere among the Gentiles ... but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." It is later, in the book of Acts, that the gospel begins to be spread widely to non-Jewish peoples.

Finish the phrase: "I have come not to bring peace but _______."

Jesus is saying here that his message will divide the world. It will even "set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother." (Matthew 10:35).

What did Jesus tell his disciples to take with them on their travels?

Jesus told his disciples to take virtually nothing with them as they traveled and preached, "not even an extra tunic" (Luke 9:3). Jesus was far more adamant about poverty as a virtue than most of today's TV evangelists would like to acknowledge!

Jesus illustrated the quality of mercy in the parable of the good ________.

The Samaritans and the Jews, neighboring peoples, were enemies at this time. In Jesus's parable, a man who is robbed and beaten by thieves is ignored by a priest and a Levite, but helped by a Samaritan.

To what does Jesus compare the kingdom of God?

Jesus was saying that the kingdom of God would have humble beginnings, but grow into something vast. In the same way, a mustard seed is tiny but becomes a tall tree.

Finish the phrase: "If ______ has lost its savor, how can it be made ______ again?"

The people of Jesus's day didn't know this (at least in scientific terms), but without sodium, your body cannot move water into its cells; that's how important salt is. This makes Jesus's metaphor about the importance of religious zeal even more meaningful.

Jesus compared a camel going through the eye of a needle to _______.

To understand this story, you have to know that Jerusalem had a late-night entry door, called the Eye of the Needle, for when the city gates were locked. To get through, a camel had to have its pack (carrying goods) removed, and to get down on its knees. The parallel to a rich man giving up his goods and humbling himself is clear.

The Pharisees were scandalized, more than once, by Jesus curing the sick under what circumstances?

For observant Jews -- like the Orthodox Jews of today -- even kindling a fire on the Sabbath was forbidden. But Jesus defended his choice to do the work of healing on the Sabbath by comparing it to saving an animal or child from a well, which was allowed under Jewish law.

To what does Jesus compare his followers?

Often, Jesus likens his followers to things that are small, innocent or powerless. He told them, "I send you out as sheep amongst the wolves," but also that "not one sparrow falls to the ground" without God knowing about it, and "are you not of more value than a sparrow?"

In the book of Mark, generally believed to be the first gospel written, Jesus's first words are ...

"Prepare the way of the Lord," was John the Baptist quoting Isaiah. John felt he was fulfilling Isaiah's words by preparing the way for Jesus, who after his baptism went to Galilee and made the announcement about the kingdom of God.

Finish this line from the Lord's Prayer: "Give us this day our _______."

This line underscores that God is to be trusted for our physical needs. (Not that that stops a lot of Christians from worrying about the economy, their 401k, and finding the best mortgage interest rate).

Complete this phrase in the Lord's Prayer: "Forgive us our _____ ..."

This line is also from the Lord's Prayer. Older translations of the Bible favor "debts" while more recent versions often use the word "trespasses."

Jesus said we will know false prophets by their ______.

Jesus switches similes quickly here, starting by saying that false prophets will go among the people as "wolves ... in sheep's clothing." (Matthew 7:15) But then he uses the example of a tree and its fruit: "You will know them by their fruits," or their actions.

When Jesus said, "Suffer the children to come to me," what did "suffer" mean?

"Suffer" used to mean "allow" or "tolerate." We rarely hear it in this capacity anymore, but some Bible translations use the old-fashioned term about Jesus teaching the children.

Which prophet did Jesus often quote?

For example, to the Pharisees, Jesus recites, "This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." The speaker in Isaiah's words is God, not Isaiah himself. Jesus is comparing the Pharisees to the people who are being condemned.

Jesus compares the faithful to sheep. What are the unfaithful compared to, who will be "separated" from those sheep?

God, Jesus says, will separate the faithful from the unfaithful like sheep from goats. The association of goats with unrighteousness might reflect an old tradition of putting the community's sins symbolically onto a goat and sending it into the wilderness -- a practice known as "scapegoating."

How many times, according to Jesus, should we forgive someone who sins against us?

Essentially, Jesus is saying, "As many times as it takes." It was the disciple, Peter, who suggested seven times -- he seems to have thought this was a generous number.

Jesus said the first shall be ____.

The statement "The first will be last and the last will be first" is Jesus's way of saying that God will up-end our expectations of who deserves glory in the kingdom of heaven. Those who humble themselves will be the greatest in God's sight.

Jesus instructed his disciples to give God what is God's and ________.

Whether good Jews should pay taxes to their Roman conquerors was a point of debate; the Pharisees were trying to entrap Jesus with this question. Jesus sidestepped it by pointing out, yet again, that money is not important in the kingdom of God.

By what name did Jesus often call himself?

Observant Christians often explain this by saying that Jesus was "fully man and fully God," but that doesn't explain why Jesus uses the "Son of Man" title far more often than calling himself "Son of God." Theologians do not have a clear explanation for what the name means, either. Some suggest he is borrowing the term from the prophecies of Daniel, who refers to seeing a "Son of Man" coming in glory from the heavens.

What is Matthew 24 famous for foretelling?

Matthew 24 makes chilling predictions about a time of great suffering, and terrifying natural phenomena, like the sun and moon being darkened. But it also promises that "the one who endures to the end shall be saved."

Who, according to Jesus, knows the day and hour of the end of the world?

Jesus says "no one knows, not the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Here he seems to be making a distinction between himself and God, one which undermines the Christian article of faith that Jesus is God.

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