Here’s What John Lennon Had to Say About Jesus Right Before He Died

By: Alec Donaldson | Last updated: Oct 25, 2023

John Lennon is one of the most fascinating musicians to have ever walked the earth. His profound love of life and his dedication to music have inspired millions over the years.

While Lennon was adored for his music, he had a profound spiritual side, which he spoke about on various occasions before his death. You might even be surprised to hear what he said about Jesus months before his passing.

The Rise of The Beatles

John Lennon is perhaps the most famous English musician in history. A songwriter, musician, and peace activist, he would co-found the world renowned Beatles in 1956.


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Over the next three decades, fans around the world would relentlessly follow Lennon’s daily life. This ultimately led to the creation of his book, Lennon on Lennon: Conversations with John Lennon, which, among other things, shed insight into the musician’s religious beliefs.


Growing Up as a Christian

The book includes an interview with Lennon that took place in 1966. The musician was asked various questions about his religious upbringing and background.


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Lennon explained that while he grew up in a Christian household, he did not profess the faith himself. However, he would go into detail about his personal beliefs, and his answers surprised many readers.

Lennon Saw the Good in Jesus

Lennon expressed that he wasn’t anti-Christian, but he didn’t enjoy the establishment aspect of organized religion. However, the musician believed the good things people said about Jesus.


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In the book, Lennon addressed a previous comment claiming the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. He explained this was made offhand, and he did not try to suggest the band was superior to Christ.

A Lifelong Fan of Jesus

Over the next few decades, we would hear Lennon speak of the knowledge contained in the words of Christ and his admiration for the ancient prophet.


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Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, shared many values and beliefs. Both could agree they were undoubtedly religious and not ‘anti-Christ’ as some media outlets claimed.

The Last Interview With the Beatle

The popular book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, includes an interview from 1980. Here, Lennon and Yoko share their opinion on the complexity of God.

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In the book, Yoko said: “People often understand God as an old man with a beard.” Lennon famously replied: “They don’t know it’s an old woman with a beard.” He continued, “It’s easier to identify with a human than with a concept.”


The Essence of Christianity

Lennon shared more of his understanding of Christianity in the 1980 interview. He spoke at great length about the agnostics who, to him, tried to accumulate self-knowledge.

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According to Lennon, the agnostics were the true essence of Christianity. However, unfortunately, he claims they were stamped out or chased to the hills during the formation of organized Christianity.


The Words of Chris

Lennon followed this up by promoting individual religious figures instead of the books that mention them.

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He said, “Read Christ’s words, read Buddha’s words, any of the great words.” Lennon went on to say we don’t need the imagery nor the “thou must worship like me or die” concept. Instead, he advised everyone to get to the core of the message.


Was Lennon Really Anti-Christian?

Just months before his untimely passing, Lennon cleared up the ideas around his religious beliefs once and for all.

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Lennon said: “People got the image I was anti-Christ or anti-religion. I’m not at all. I’m a most religious fellow.” However, he did feel that the message of organized Christianity was very similar to the message of Marxism.


What Did Religion Mean to Lennon?

Around the same time, Lennon gave an in-depth explanation of what religion meant to him.

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He admitted that he’s very religious in terms of accepting the idea that there’s a lot more to the world than meets the eye.


I’m Not an Atheist

During his final few months, Lennon claimed that he was certainly not an atheist in any regard.

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The Beatle admitted he had a lot more in common with Christians and Muslims than he did with people who outrightly denied the existence of a higher power.


A Believer in Christ

During his earlier years with the Beatles, Lennon had created quite a bit of controversy after some unusual remarks about Jesus.

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Yet, by the end of his life he redeemed himself in the eyes of the followers of Jesus. The Beatle even began asking many of his fans to look into the teachings and words of the ancient prophet.


A Figure to Remember

Lennon’s quirky and deep interviews have helped people who grew up in the ‘80s and ‘90s to find a connection to spirituality that didn’t necessarily involve becoming part of an organization or church.

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Many will remember Lennon as the musician, some as the social activist and above all else, a simple man who decided to look beyond the boundaries of normal society.