10 Life Lessons Jesus Taught Though His Actions

You know about the sermon on the mount; the parables of the kingdom and several other teachings of Jesus.

You can identify a ton of lessons He taught through the things He said. But how about what he taught through His actions?

Here are 10 life-applicable lessons Jesus taught through the things He did.

#1. Live with foresight

To have foresight is to be able to judge a present situation and consequently predict or determine a likely outcome of events in the near or distant future and plan yourself and your actions based on this knowledge.

In Mark 3:7-10, Jesus taught us just that.

But Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judea and from Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan; and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they heard how many things He was doing, came to Him so He told His disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for Him because of the multitude, lest they crush him. For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him.

A multitude is a large number. When you now have a great multitude trooping from 7 regions towards you, you know you have a situation on your hands.

It was surely going to be difficult for 13 men to control this crowd – particularly because the majority in this instance, came to be healed. Scriptures say, he healed “many” and “as many as had afflictions pressed about him to touch him. They desperately wanted to be cured! In fact, there is no record that Jesus taught in that episode.  

So, as everyone was struggling not to miss their chance, Jesus figured they were close to the sea and he could be bundled into the water!

Having realized the possibility of a crush, he ordered the disciples to keep a boat ready, so they could sit in or just maintain a distance, in case he could no longer withstand the press.

That’s foresight!

Living with foresight will often help us to be prepared before a situation arises.

That will help us handle it well..

#2. Be An Early Riser

Success and greatness have always been linked with early rising.

That’s because, it takes discipline, determination, diligence, responsibility, vision, focus and passion to be an early riser; and you don’t often need more than these to be great or successful.

Jesus, the greatest of all was also an early riser. There are several instances where he demonstrated this.

In Mark 1:35, we find a classic example. Scripture says, “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out.”

It was still a long while before daybreak, perhaps it was 3am; but he was up already and raring to go!

#3. Seek God Early in the Day

The concluding part of Mark 1:35 reads, “He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.”

Apart from rising early to prepare for the day, Jesus apparently rose up early to also commune with the Father.

It is possible that his practice of this principle was strengthened by several instances in the old testament scriptures which he had obviously read. The Psalmist said in Psalm 63:1a, “O God, you are my God; early will I seek you.” In Psalm 5:3, he also said, “My voice you shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to you.”

Similarly, Job was noted to “rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings” (Job 1:5). Moses rose early in the morning to go to Mount Sinai to meet the Lord (Exodus 34:4). Hezekiah also rose early and took the people to the house of the Lord (2 Chronicles 29:20).

The list can go on. But it is clear that rising early to commune with the Father is strategic and important.

Communing with the LORD very early shows that we put Him first. It shows our dependence on Him. Above all, it helps us to set the tone for the day from the spiritual realm.

No wonder Jesus practised it.

#4. Learn to Have Personal Retreats

Hardly do we think about retreats. Usually, the norm is that we live our lives in a continuous stretch, hustling and bustling without really thinking of taking a break to withdraw in order to rest, reflect, pray, refresh and re-strategize.

Without retreats, it’s difficult to generate impact or sustain the impact generated. Without retreats, it’s difficult to remain valuable and relevant – you’d burn out and be dwelling on old grace; nothing new.

Jesus was a very busy workaholic; but he often went apart alone to observe retreats and personal quiet moments. For instance, his forty days and nights fasting was observed away in the woods.

There were times, when the disciples and other people would search for him with no idea of his whereabouts because he had withdrawn. In one instance, ‘when they found him, they said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” (Mark 1:37-38)

Not only did he practice this principle, he ingrained it into his disciples by instructing them once and again.

In one typical instance, he said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.” (Mark 6:31).

It was the same principle he was teaching them, when he took them to the mount of transfiguration; when he took them to the Garden of Gethsemane; and when he sent the multitude away and told them to go aside, while he also went apart (Matthew 14:22-23).

Its simple, be deliberate about your retreats!

#5. Harness the Power of Priority and Focus

Jesus was a man of extreme focus and priority.

At age 12, when other children were overtaken by adolescent fantasies, exuberance and peer influence, he already knew he had a business to pursue and had embarked on it.

When his parents found him after 3 days of frustrating search in Jerusalem, he said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49)

As a grown man, when his disciples were urging him to eat after an exhaustive journey, he said to them: “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.’ (John 4:32, 34)

In another instance, he said: ‘I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.’ (John 9:4)

Jesus was able to harness the power of focus and priority, no wonder he achieved so much in a little time.

Give diligence to find out the essence of your life. When you discover it, apply yourself to it with great focus and priority.

#6. Never Force Yourself on Anyone

Sometimes, people don’t know what’s good for them. Sometimes, they don’t know what they really need. Because of that, we, at times find ourselves seemingly forcing ourselves (and ideas) on them in a bid to help them.

Sometimes, we may not even notice we are forcing ourselves on someone or a people because of our desperation, ambition, or lust.

In any case, it appears that approach may eventually be counterproductive – even if the intentions are good.

So, Jesus showed again and again that it wasn’t the way to go.

In Nazareth, Jesus’ very hometown, He could not do many miracles not because he had run out of power but because the people did not believe in Him (Matthew 13:57-58). Hence, they had no faith that he could heal them. And since they didn’t, they did not approach him for healing.

He didn’t force himself on them either.

In Mark 5, Jesus delivered the demon-possessed man of Gadarenes who had lived all his life around the tombs tormented by a legion of evil spirits.

In spite of that great deliverance however, the natives didn’t want him to stay in the region – in fact, they begged him to leave (Mark 5:16-17).

That’s probably because they were unhappy that thousands of swine were lost in the process.

Jesus didn’t argue or protest. He simply obliged them.

If they had let him in and pleased their case, perhaps they would have witnessed another strange miracle with the swine.

After all He had power over nature!

#7. Keep the Naysayers Far Away

Naysayers, bad critics and mockers have always been.

You should listen to them at your own peril.

Jesus knew this too well and he demonstrated consistent disregard for them.

In Mark 5:39-41, we find a classic example.

“When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”

If Jesus had considered and taken to heart, what these mockers did, we would never be reading about this miracle today.

Jesus didn’t get this type of treatment from only outsiders, even his brethren misunderstood him, disbelieved him and mocked him.

John 7:3-5 says,

“His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” For even His brothers did not believe in Him.”

They thought he desired fame. Alas, that was the very last thing he wanted.

Naysayers, doubters and critics will deter you from your goal and purpose if you are not strong enough to ignore them. They will say and do all kinds of things to discourage you, weaken you and frustrate you.

Your reaction should be two-fold, keep them aside and ignore!

#8. Train and Empower Others

Training and empowering others is not always an easy thing to do. No wonder many people are reluctant about it.

Jesus, however was passionately committed to training and empowering. He imparted theoretical knowledge and gave practical instances.

And to crown it all, He gave them assignments and field exposure to practice what they have been taught. In Luke 9, He empowered, instructed and sent out the 12 disciples. Then in Luke 10, He did same for the 70 disciples.

Jesus’ principle was to multiply himself in as many as possible, whether they stay with him or gravitate to distant lands. He knew that was the best way He could affect and impact the world.

Jesus was so committed to this, that even when his close disciples were faltering and not learning the lessons well, He didn’t give up. He’d lament and correct, but never gave up on them.

People and situations that could discourage or undermine your orientation and efforts to train and empower others will surely come, but you should never allow that overrule your aim of transgenerational impact.

#9. Don’t Make Assumptions About People

We all assume a lot.

But we don’t stop there, we arrive at conclusions from our assumptions.

But Jesus teaches us to act differently.

Jesus always worked with facts. Most times he spoke to people and about people, only what he knew by reading, by experience or by the Spirit.

When He wanted to be sure what the people thought about him, he asked the disciples.  “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” (Matthew 16:13).

We find an even more striking instance of Jesus desiring to work with certainty rather than assumption, in the case of a blind man that approached him for healing in Luke 18: 39-41.

Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.”

Here was a blind man desperately running after Jesus and crying for mercy, only for Jesus to stand and ask him, “What do you want me to do for you?”.

Excuse me, i thought that was obvious? The man is blind! He wants to see!

No, Jesus never assumed or concluded like that. For all we care, the man may desire some money or food. Jesus had to be sure.

The lesson is simple, never assume; if in doubt, ask.

#10. Silence is Golden

Just the same way Jesus was known for His vocal prowess and sagacity, He was also known for His silence. There were several instances where, against the expectations of the people, Jesus didn’t speak or respond to those who desired a word from him.

Recall the incidence of the woman who was caught in adultery (John 8:1-11) and several other instances during his trials.

Jesus knew that one need not speak every time.

In Ecclesiastes 3:7, Scripture teaches us that there is a “A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak”

Proverbs 17:28 also says, “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.”

Jesus knew how to use the weapon of silence.

That’s one thing many of us need to really understand and maximize.

So, there you have it, the top 10 life lessons that Jesus taught through His actions

What similar life lessons have you learnt from Jesus’ actions? Please share them in the comments section.  

If you enjoyed reading this post and found it valuable, kindly share, so some others may benefit from it too.

See Also


What Moves Me

Prophet Without Honour

7 Scriptures that Changed My Life

6 Smart Tips for Getting Things Done

What it Really Means to Forgive and Forget

8 Powerful Ways to Take Charge of Your Life

Why Some Difficulties Are Good for You

The Big Lesson to Always Remember from the Manna Episode

Faith in Adversity: The Story Behind the Hymn ‘It is Well’ 

9 Things to Never Take for Granted As a Christian

The Power of a Possibility Mentality: What a Childhood Experience Taught Me

Why a Good God Allowed Evil Befall His Beloved: The Curious Story of Job

The Shorter Route is Not Always Better: A Lesson from Israel’s Wilderness Journey

30 Things a Christian Should Do Before Turning 30: A Bucket List from Jesus’ Life

pp (7) new About the Author Ogaga Eruteya is a Nigerian Christian minister, writer and speaker. He writes on Faith, Personal Development, Youth Development, and Life Realities. With his words, he seeks to inspire, motivate, propagate life’s truths and represent a sincere Christian voice. Learn more about Ogaga here.

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