Topic 6: The Sermon On The Mount



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Worksheet 1: Hypocrites in Jesus’ eyes


  1. According to Jesus, how did the hypocrites do their good work? What rewards were they looking for? Fill in the table below.




Good Work

Ways to do good work

Anticipated Rewards

  1. Almsgiving

(Mt: 6:1-2)







  1. Praying

(Mt 6:5)







  1. Fasting

(Mt 6:16)









  1. Who would be the final beneficiaries of the rewards mentioned above?







True Piety Worksheet 1 2-2


Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs




  1. Why did they want these rewards? Based on The Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which level of needs did these rewards belong to?

True Piety Worksheet 2
Worksheet 2: Intrinsic Purposes of Good Work
Discuss and analyse the following questions:


  1. What are the intrinsic values and purposes of almsgiving, praying and fasting?




Good Work

Intrinsic Values and Purposes

For the sake of what kind of relationships? (Related to oneself, related to others, or related to God)

  1. Almsgiving







  1. Praying







  1. Fasting










    1. Compare Jesus’ understanding of the purpose of doing good work with that of the hypocrites.






    1. If following Jesus’ teaching on doing good work will bring us the God’s rewards, what kind of rewards will they be?






    1. Compare the rewards Jesus mentioned with those desired by the hypocrites. What were the differences?






    1. Which good work satisfies you the most?



T



rue Piety Worksheet 3
Worksheet 3: My understanding of the Lord’s Prayer
1. Please write down the contents of the prayer card. Analyse the areas involved, relationships and contents arrangement. Write down your thoughts on the prayer card below.
Prayer card contents:




Put a  in the appropriate □.

Areas Involved

Relationships

Content Arrangement

Thoughts

  • Godly matters

  • My own business

  • related to God

  • related to oneself

  • related to others

  • Too simple

  • Brief and clear

  • Too complicated






True Piety Students’ References Material 1 2-1






Material 1: Pray to God



  1. Brief and serious: Simple, direct and serious prayer is sufficient. It does not have to be long. Prayer is not meant to manipulate God or to ask for God’s blessings in return because God already know everyone’s needs.




  1. Ask for matters regarding God’s Kingdom first: Ask for the coming of God’s Kingdom so that more people will know about God’s truth.




  1. Ask for our daily needs: Ask God to provide us with our daily needs, and believe that God is the Provider who will satisfy us.




  1. Ask for a forgiving heart: Pray for God’s forgiveness - not only ask for the forgiveness from God and from others, but also ask for the ability to forgive others.




  1. Ask to win over temptation: Ask for protection from God and through His given ability to win over trials on faith and to maintain God’s truth.

True Piety Students’ References Material 3 2-2


The correct attitude and intention of praying:





Jesus taught us how to pray: (Mt: 6:9-13)

Prayer

Areas

Relationships

May your holy name be honoured; may your Kingdom come; may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Godly Matters

Regarding our relationships with God

Give us today the food we need.

Basic Needs

Regarding our own daily living

Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.

Social Relationships

Regarding our relationship with others

Do not bring us to hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil One.

Spiritual Life

Regarding our relationships with God

References:



  1. Barclay, William (1956). The Gospel of Matthew. Vol. I Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press. pp.214-216.

  2. Viviano, Benedict T. (1990). The Gospel According to Matthew. In R. Brown & J. Fitzmyer, (Eds.). New Jerome Biblical Commentary (pp. 641). Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall.

  3. Hagner, Donald A. (1993). Outward Vs Inward Righteousness. In Word Biblical Commentary (Vol.33A, pp.136-154).Texas: Word Books.

Attitude towards Life (1): Eternal Wealth Teacher’s Guide 2-1





  1. Biblical reference: Matthew 6:19-24




  1. Objectives:

  • To learn about Jesus’ teachings on riches in Heaven and to cultivate good characters.

  • To understand by studying the parable the lamp of the body, that people should share their wealth with others generously in order to establish a close relationship with God as well as with the others.

  • To understand, through Jesus’ teachings on “no one can be a slave of two masters”, that people should not set riches on earth as their goal, otherwise they will become slaves of money and lose the chance to serve God.

  • To learn the values of cultivating good characters, being generous to others, and serving God.

  1. Teaching strategies

Background Information


  • Jesus taught people to rectify their attitude towards riches on earth and not to devote themselves to storing up riches on earth. This is because riches on earth are merely earthly possessions that may easily be lost and have no everlasting values.

  • Jesus used the parables of light, eyes and body to point out that if people commit themselves to following God’s will and generously share the riches on earth with others, they will be able to establish a close relationship with God. Their lives will be filled with light and happiness. On the contrary, if people crave for riches on earth, or even become jealous of others’ possessions, their lives will be filled with darkness.

  • Jesus reminded people that no one can serve God and money at the same time. If people choose to serve money, they will become slaves of it and lose the chance to serve God.

Issues for Explorations

  • Why are people so devoted to pursuing riches on earth?

Attitude towards Life (1): Eternal Wealth Teacher’s Guide2-2


Enquiry Questions


  • What are eternal riches in Jesus’ point of view?

  • How is Jesus’ parable of the lamp of the body related to the teachings on riches?

  • According to Jesus’ teachings, what should one’s goal be? How will it affect the way people live?

Learning Activities

  • Through group discussion, help students understand Jesus’ views on eternal riches and find out the characteristics of riches in heaven and riches on earth.

  • Through case study, help students understand Jesus’ parable of the lamp of the body, analyse how generous people and ungenerous people lead different lives.

  • Through modern economic studies, lead students to reflect on their lifestyle and encourage them to seek God’s will, care for others, cultivate good characters in themselves, and develop their potentials.

Key Concepts

  • Storing up riches in heaven

  • The lamp of the body

Generic Skills, Values and Attitudes Involved

  • Refer to the ‘Generic Skills, Values and Attitudes’ tables included in the following activity sheets.

High-Order Questions

  • How do people put Jesus’ teachings on eternal riches into practice and lead a life with God as the primary goal?

Extended Activities

  • Find out and comment on how people in Hong Kong use their money and decide the best ways of managing money.

Attitude towards Life (1): Eternal Wealth Activity One 4-1






Activity One


Enquiry Questions

Generic Skills

Values and Attitudes

What are eternal riches in Jesus’ point of view?

Collaboration skills, communication skills, critical thinking skills

Equality, kindness, compassion, empathy, mutuality, self-reflection, well-being of humankind


Teaching Steps:

Step 1: Teacher does warm-up exercise with students by asking them to reflect on the fact that some people in Hong Kong set the pursing money and wealth as their goals:

        • Teacher visits the following webpage and lets students skim and scan through a piece of online news:

    • http://www.christianweekly.net/4DACTION/W4D_CWREAD/13528/11/BACK (Christian Weekly Vol.2208 December 17, 2006)

  • Teacher states the key points of the above survey on “Goals of Hong Kong People”:

    • About 70% of Hong Kong people set the pursuing of money and wealth as their goals;

    • But it is also found that, about 40% of the interviewees consider the pursuing of money and wealth meaningless.

  • Teacher can discuss the following questions with students:

    • Have you ever seen crowds of people in front of banks watching the latest news of the stock market or lining up in front of betting branches? Why do they do that?

    • Why do Hong Kong people set the pursuing of money and wealth as their goal?

    • How would you comment on the above phenomenon?


Step 2: Teacher points out:

  • Jesus taught people not to “store up riches for yourselves on earth” (“riches” means wealth in today’s language) but “store up riches for yourselves in heaven.” Apparently, Jesus’ idea went against the mainstream thinking of the society. Why did he teach that to people?

Attitude towards Life (1): Eternal Wealth Activity One 4-2
Step 3: Teacher carries out the “Riches on Earth” activity with students and helps them understand Jesus’ views on riches on earth and the reasons of not storing up riches on earth.

  • Teacher asks students to read Matthew 6: 19-21

  • Teacher divides students into groups of four, hands out ‘Worksheet 1’ (Riches on Earth) and leads students to discuss the questions on the worksheet:

    • The banking system in Hong Kong is very stable and secure, yet Jesus thought that they are places “where moth and rust destroy and robbers break in and steal”. Can Jesus’ views be applied to the present social context? Explain your answer with examples.

    • What were the deeper meanings behind Jesus’ views? Did he mean that people cannot rely on riches on earth because they don’t give people the sense of security? Explain and give examples.

  • Teacher points out:

    • Jesus’ described the earth as a place “where moth and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal”. His description is not applicable in Hong Kong with stable banking system.

    • In fact, Jesus tried to let people understand that, riches on earth are temporary, unstable and subject to environmental changes, thus cannot give a sense of security to people. Even in today’s society, the riches on earth still have similar characteristics.

    • Jesus reminded people not to store up riches on earth, which means people should not devote their life and all their time on those unstable and fluctuating riches on earth.

  • Teacher shows PowerPoint 1 (Riches on Earth) to help students understand Jesus’ teachings on riches on earth, which are still applicable in modern society.


Step 4: Teacher carries out “Storing up Riches in Heaven” activity with students, helping students to understand what Jesus thought about riches in heaven and to find out the reasons for storing up riches in heaven.

  • Teacher points out:

    • If riches on earth are temporary, unstable and subject to environmental changes, failing to give people a sense of security, which place is the most secure for people to store money?

Attitude towards Life (1): Eternal Wealth Activity One 4-3




  • Teacher leads students to discuss:

    • How did Jesus depict the riches in heaven?

    • What did Jesus want to bring out through the description of riches in heaven?

    • Are there things on earth that fit into Jesus’ description of riches in heaven?

  • Teacher shows PowerPoint 2 (Riches in Heaven). By showing the Hebrews’ traditional views, let students understand what Jesus considered as riches in heaven.

  • Teacher points out:

    • According to Jesus, riches in heaven are eternal, stable and do not subject to environmental changes. They give people a sense of security.

    • Jesus encouraged people to store up riches in heaven, i.e. to invest one’s own life and time on something that is eternal and invaluable.

    • People can only store up riches in heaven by cultivating good characters and following God’s will.


Step 5: Teacher distributes ‘Students’ Reference: Material 1’ (Jesus’ teachings on riches in heaven) as the summary of the learning.
Step 6: Teacher further discusses the following questions with students.

  • Jesus taught people not to store up riches for oneself on earth, but to store up riches in heaven because one’s heart will always be where the riches are. Do you agree with him? Explain your answer with real life examples.

  • Teacher can visit the following link and share the example with students: http://hk.news.yahoo.com/061218/12/1yh5j.html (Dec 19, 2006 Ming Pao Daily): The news article is about a shopaholic who lost control of herself, stealing others’ credit cards for buying things and quitting school to repay the debts. There is another story about Michael Chang holding a service titled “Lord Jesus Christ is My Best Love” in the Bay Area in San Francisco, CA. Michael Chang reminded young people the things that could bring true satisfaction and happiness to them. He quoted examples of millionaires and pop stars who might not be able to achieve true happiness and further explained that the greatest satisfaction people can get is through establishing a close relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Attitude towards Life (1): Eternal Wealth Activity One 4-4




  • Teacher asks students to imagine how the society would be if everyone on earth were willing to cultivate good characters, to be kind to others, as well as to follow God’s will. Invite students to share their opinions.

    • Teacher can visit the following website to show students how people manage to help establish the Kingdom of God on earth by cultivating good characters, being kind to others, as well as following God’s will: http://www.studylight.org/enc/isb/view.cgi?number=T5318

  • What difficulties will people encounter if they choose to store up riches in heaven? How can one deal with the difficulties?


Step 7: Teacher summarises:

  • Riches on earth are temporary, unstable and subject to environmental changes. They cannot give people a sense of security. If people build their happiness on the transient and unstable riches on earth, they will lose their happiness and satisfaction easily when the riches on earth vanish.

  • Riches in heaven are eternal, stable and do not subject to environmental changes. They are valuable to one’s life. People can store up riches in heaven following God’s will and cultivating good characters. Eternal and invaluable items will not vanish even when people are physically dead. This is the reason why Jesus taught people not to store up riches on earth but to store up riches in heaven.

  • If one only aims at pursuing money and wealth, they will lose interest in things that are eternal and invaluable. If one aims at pursuing eternal and invaluable things, they will spend their whole life seeking those things.

Attitude towards Life (1): Eternal Wealth Activity Two 2-1





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