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Jesus Quotes this Old Testament Book the Most

January 22, 2020

I came across this article on Biblia by Jeffrey Kranz that shows the top books of the Bible that Jesus quotes throughout the four Gospels. The top one, as you might have guessed, is the Book of Psalms!

Jesus quotes from Scripture a lot, giving us a great example of why memorizing and quoting Scripture is edifying for the believer. Here are just four times when Jesus quotes the Book of Psalms.

1.) Matthew 27:46

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

This question comes straight from Psalm 22:1.

This gut-wrenching question, where on the first reading it seems that our Savior is experiencing total despair, we soon see that He is as faithful to the Father as always. He is still quoting Scripture, and still trusting in the power of God’s Word.

Jesus gives us an important example: we can trust the Psalms to help us articulate what we are feeling in our hearts and our souls. Jesus saw this psalm as fitting to express His suffering, and we should trust the psalms as fitting to express our longings, pains, and troubles.

2.) John 15:25

But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: “They hated me without a cause.”

This phrase comes from Psalms 35:19 and 69:4.

Among all the time Jesus quotes from Scripture, a common purpose is for Him to show how He is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies and promises.

Jesus wanted His listener to know loud and clear that the One that the Psalms promised, the coming Messiah, the Lamb who would take away the sin of the world, had arrived. Jesus is the Messiah!

3.) John 13:18

The Scripture will be fulfilled, “He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.”

This phrase comes from Psalm 41:9.

Jesus speaks with His disciples about the one who is going to betray Him, Judas Iscariot. This is an interesting moment because Jesus shows us that He understands His life through Scripture. Jesus knew that the entire Bible was about Him.

4.) Matthew 23:39

For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”

This phrase comes from Psalm 118:26.

Jesus says these words during His lament over Jerusalem, “the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it!” (Matthew 23:37). And verse 39 is the last verse in this lament. So in this lament, we see a summary of God’s people before and after Jesus’s death and resurrection.

We rejected Him, and He died for us. As Paul stated:

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Because of His death on the cross, we can approach Him in worship and say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” He has redeemed us to worship.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

The Author
Davis Wetherell

Davis Wetherell (MA in English, Marquette University) is a writer and editor. He recently managed article content for Unlocking the Bible. He has taught college classes on literature, rhetoric, and composition. Davis has a heart for writers and loves to serve them. Check out his blog.

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