Topic 6: The Sermon On The Mount


Material 2: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs



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Material 2: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs


The Six Antitheses (1) Teacher’s Guide 2-1




  1. Biblical reference: Matthew 5:17-32




  1. Objectives:

  • To learn that the purpose of Jesus’ teachings regarding the Mosaic Law was to fulfill its true meaning.

  • To understand Jesus’ new interpretations of the three theses: murder, adultery and divorce. These new interpretations were intended to reveal the spirit behind the Mosaic Law: (1) to revere God; (2) to pay attention to motives behind actions; (3) to respect oneself and others, and treat one’s family, neighbours and even enemies with love.

  • To learn to respect oneself and others, and treat others and even one’s enemies with love.

  1. Teaching strategies:

Background Information

  • Jesus interpreted the Mosaic Law in a new way to reveal the spirit behind the laws.

  • By explaining the Six Antitheses including anger, adultery, divorce, vows, revenge, and love one’s enemies, Jesus wanted to teach that God does not only require us to behave according to the Law. Rather, God wanted people to revere Him, to pay attention to the motives behind actions, and to abandon hatred, improper desires, hypocrisy and revenge.

  • Jesus’ new interpretations of the Mosaic Law also taught people to treat family, neighbours and even enemies with love.

Issue for Explorations

  • How can people get along with each other in a better way?

Enquiry Questions

  • What was the background of Jesus’ new interpretations of the Mosaic Law?

  • Regarding Jesus’ new interpretation of “Do not commit murder” in the Mosaic Law, what was the new ethical requirement for human relationship? How did the new ethical requirement fulfill the spirit of the law?

The Six Antitheses (1) Teacher’s Guide 2-2





  • Regarding Jesus’ new interpretation of “Do not commit adultery” in the Mosaic Law, what was the new ethical requirement for the relationship between the two sexes? How did the new ethical requirement fulfill the spirit of the law?

  • Regarding Jesus’ new interpretation of “Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a written notice of divorce” in the Mosaic Law, what was the new ethical requirement for relationship between couple? How did the new ethical requirement fulfill the spirit of the law?

Learning Activities

  • Through group discussion, help students learn the background of Jesus’ new interpretations of the Mosaic Law.

  • Through studying real life examples, help students learn Jesus’ new teachings about murder, adultery, and divorce, and the meaning behind the new teachings.

  • Through studying real life examples, help students analyse whether the new ethical principles proposed by Jesus are applicable to the modern society.

  • Study examples of how people have put Jesus’ new moral spirit into practice.

Key Concepts

  • Jesus’ new interpretations of the Law

Generic Skills, Values and Attitudes involved

  • Refer to the “Generic Skills, Values and Attitudes’ table included in the corresponding lesson plans.

High-order Questions

  • Discuss the difficulties in putting Jesus’ teachings into practice.

Extended Activities

  • Collect examples from newspapers and magazines, help students understand the consequences of disrespecting others, females and spouses, so as to reflect on the applicability of Jesus’ teachings in modern society.

The Six Antitheses (1) Activity One 2-1




Activity One


Enquiry Questions

Generic Skills

Values and Attitudes

What was the background of Jesus’ new interpretations of the Mosaic Law?

Collaboration skills, communication skills, critical thinking skills

Rationality, justice, common good


Teaching steps:

  1. Teacher does warm-up exercise with students by asking them to think about and discuss the reasons of keeping the law of society.

  • Teacher shows PowerPoint 1 (The Spirit of the Law). Let students understand the spirit of the Law in Hong Kong by looking at ordinances regarding the regulation of smoking in public areas, littering, indecent assault, infringing copyright, etc.

    • Invite students to answer the questions on the PowerPoint slide: what is the punishment if we offend the particular ordinance?

    • Teacher divides students into groups of four. Ask each group to choose one ordinance from the PowerPoint slide (e.g. prohibiting smoking in certain designated areas, anti-littering, indecent assault, infringement of copyright) and to discuss the spirit of that ordinance, such as whom the ordinance aims to protect and how the ordinance benefits the society.

  • Teacher discusses with students:

    • Why do people when observe the law? Do people want to avoid being punished or do they really respect the spirit of the law? What is the difference between these two intentions?




  1. Teacher points out:

  • Most ordinances aim to protect the rights of every person in society, so that all people are equally treated.

  • One should not observe the law just for avoiding punishment. Rather, one should realise that the spirit of the law is to protect individual interests and to respect others’ rights. Thus, one should always observe the law even without supervision.

  • In Jesus’ times, the Mosaic Law was regarded as the principal law of the Jewish society. In discussing how to keep the Mosaic Law, Jesus brought up his own views which were different from those of the religious leaders. Let us look at the differences, and the reasons behind Jesus’ views.

The Six Antitheses (1) Activity One 2-2


  1. Teacher carries out the “Jesus’ Views on the Mosaic Law” activity with students and helps them understand Jesus’ different views on the Mosaic Law.

  • Teacher asks students to read Matthew 5:17-20 and find out Jesus’ views on the Mosaic Law. Invite students to present what they read.

  • Teacher shows “PowerPoint 2” (Jesus’ Views on the Mosaic Law), briefly explains Jesus’ views on the Mosaic Law, in particular the following background information for students to understand Jesus reinterpretations of the Mosaic Law:

    • Respecting the Mosaic Law

    • Reinterpreting the Law with the following emphases: Emphasising the spirit of the Mosaic Law; revering God, and respecting oneself and others;

    • Deepening the requirements of the Mosaic Law: paying attention to the intentions behind actions; respecting and loving others.

  • Teacher hands out Students’ Reference: Material 1 (Comparison between Jesus’ and the Pharisees’ views on the Mosaic Law) and helps students understand the different views Jesus and the Pharisees had on the Mosaic Law.

  • Teacher divides students into groups of four and guides them to discuss the following questions:

    • What were the merits of Jesus’ views when compared to those of the Pharisees?

    • Do you agree with Jesus’ understanding of the spirit of the Law, revering God and respecting oneself and others? Why?




  1. Teacher summarises:

  • In Jesus’ times, the Pharisees paid much attention to the literal meaning of the Mosaic Law and persisted in the stipulations of the Law, but neglected the spirit of the Law.

  • Jesus pointed out that the spirit of the Mosaic Law was to lead people to revere God and to respect oneself and others. It was against the spirit if one just focuses on behaving well and neglects the intentions behind.

The Six Antitheses (1) Activity Two 2-1




Activity Two


Enquiry Questions

Generic Skills

Values and Attitudes

Regarding Jesus’ new interpretation of “Do not commit murder” in the Mosaic Law, what was the new ethical requirement for human relationship? How did the new ethical requirement fulfill the spirit of the law?

Collaboration skills, communication skills, critical thinking skills

Rationality, justice, common good, critical, openness


Teaching steps:

  1. Teacher asks:

  • Have you ever been angry with your family members or friends, or even insulted them? What were their responses? How did that event affect the relationship between you and them? Do you think you have hurt them?




  1. Teacher carries out the “The Headbutt of Zidane” activity with students and helps them understand how anger and insult damage human relationship.

  • Teacher shows “PowerPoint 3” (The Headbutt of Zidane) as an introduction.

  • Teacher divides students into groups and asks them to discuss:

    • If you were Zidane, how would you feel when you were insulted by Materazzi? What would you do? Explain.

    • Hence, what were the consequences of being angry and insulting others?

    • If people cannot control their emotions, what are the possible serious consequences?

  • Teacher invites students to present what they have discussed.





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