Jesus often used metaphors and hyperbole (“pluck out your eye”?!) to make a point. Since Jesus was Jewish, his teachings are rooted in that faith tradition, and best understood in that context. However, many scholars see a reflection of Buddhist teachings in the words of Jesus as well. See if you can spot these Jewish and Buddhist connections.
The relevant connection between Jesus and Buddhist teachings is that both encourage the pursuit of spirituality as opposed to material wealth. Both teachings affirm that it is crucial that individuals integrate spiritualism as the pursuit of worldly possessions is temporary.
Read Matthew 5, 6, 7 (google it, and remember there are many different English translations). List at least three topics you found interesting, and put those teachings in your own words (do not copy and paste the verses).
The teachings I found most interesting were concerned with love for one’s enemies, the Sermon on the Mount, and judging others. The teaching on the Sermon on the Mount outlines requirements necessary for individuals to live according to the Lord’s teachings, how they can interact with each other, and how to receive the Kingdom of God. Fellow Christians are encouraged to pursue spirituality and not to be materialistic. In the teaching about judging others, Christians are encouraged to avoid criticizing other Christians. They should first correct themselves before they criticize other individuals. The teaching of love for enemies urges Christians to love their enemies even though they persecute them. They should also pray for their enemies and not wish them any evil.
Then discuss at least one of the teachings at length. What did this teaching mean for the people of that time? Is it relevant for modern times? Why or why not? How is it a reflection of other religious teachings you’ve learned?
When Jesus gave the teaching on the Sermon on the Mount, he intended to reveal to the audience about concerns they had on the Kingdom of God and what it is like. He wanted them to understand what was required of them to receive the Kingdom of God. The teaching is still relevant in the current society as it enables fellow Christians to realize that it is more important to pursue the Kingdom of God instead of focusing on material possessions. Further, it allows Christians to determine the particular values they are required to possess so that they can belong to the Kingdom of God. Christians are also able to learn the importance of loving one other and treating each other with love. It is a reflection of other teachings as it focuses on humans and how they should interact with each other.
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