Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Christmas 2019 26. Was Jesus simply a good moral teacher?
Today we have another question? Was Jesus Christ simply a good moral teacher, and nothing more? It is often a statement often associated with Jesus Christ, that he was simply a good moral teacher. Nothing more. Nothing less. This thinking is also untenable and unworkable. How so? We start by asking ourselves, if Jesus’ teaching reflects a good way to live, and if they do, what did he teach?
Jesus’ moral code, revolving around the part of the Bible we call the Old Testament, can be summarized as “do to others, what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12). Some people refer to this as the “Golden Rule“.
However, Jesus with greater insight went further than anybody else. He goes on to say that it is not only the outward actions of a person that makes them morally good, it is also the internal attitude behind it (Matthew 15:17–20).
People often think Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is the most wonderful teaching and therefore think Jesus was a great teacher (Matthew 5-7). But they have not understood what he was saying, and why he said it.
Therefore, while this may indeed be the best-known teaching of Jesus, it is quite possibly also the most misunderstood. It is most certainly the least obeyed of all his teaching. Again, how is that so?
Quite often today Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is seen as mostly a call not to react violently even when faced with direct provocation. However this was never Jesus intention. It was never meant to be a group of general guidelines for our comfort to wallow in. Nor was it designed to give us boundless joy in how good we are being! Upon reading this teaching of Jesus, we see that Jesus’ original intention for this teaching was that it was to reflect the values, standards and priorities of God’s Kingdom. This is what Jesus was talking about when he gave the “Sermon on the Mount”.
Certainly Jesus was a good moral teacher! Moreover, was he simply a good moral teacher or was he more than this simple claim? To assert that Jesus was merely a good moral teacher, nothing more and nothing less, is a foolish thing to think or express. Nobody could do or say the things that Jesus did, and not be who he said and showed he was: Almighty God.
That is all for today! Come back tomorrow to see more in our Christmas series 2019, looking at Jesus Christ, the promised one of God.
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