The Top 10 Upside Down Teachings Of Jesus

Jeff Bell
2 min readOct 29, 2020

“God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human might boast in the presence of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:27–29

The Bible is full of paradoxical teachings. Teachings that flew in the face of the wisdom of the age they were given, and which remain just as counter-cultural today. Yet these seemingly absurd ideals are the Kingdom values Jesus mandates his followers to live out in this broken world.

Here are my ‘Top Ten’ favourite upside down paradoxisms Jesus shared with his disciples — and by his grace, I pray we are (in the words of Paul) “foolish” enough to live by:

10 — “The Last will be first and the first will be last.” Matthew 20:16

9 — “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:4

8 — “For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.” Luke 18:26

7 — “For it is better to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35

6 — “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44

5 — “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave. Even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:26–28

4 — “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life…” John 6:51

3 — “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God…” John 3:3

2 — “Blessed are the poor, the mourning, the meek, the hungry for righteousness, the merciful,the pure, the peacemakers, the persecuted, and the reviled… For theirs is…” Matthew 5:3–11

And the number ONE UPSIDE DOWN teaching of Jesus is…

(*Ok, in reality, it is neither a teaching or even a quote from Jesus, but the contradictory picture of our incredible Saviour, which John witnessed and describes for us: Jesus as the one who is both, mighty and weak; dead but now alive!)

1 — “Behold the Lion of the Tribe of Judah…and I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain.” Revelation 5:5–6

Remember if every action you take, and every decision you make, matches up perfectly with everyone else around you, there may be wisdom in it, but most likely it is not the wisdom that comes from Jesus, and it is not the “foolish” wisdom that overcomes the world.



Jeff Bell

Minister of Trentside Baptist, Bobcaygeon Ontario