a) Outline your knowledge and understanding of the moral teaching contained in the Beatitudes
The Beatitudes are part of Jesus’ teachings on the Sermon on the Mount. In them, he describes eight types of people that will be happy or blessed in the next life, and these teachings are morally significant to Christians. They contain values and attitudes which Christians today must attempt to reflect if they are to live a moral life. Jesus portrays the perfect disciple through the Beatitudes as he states inward qualities we must possess to fulfil the criteria of being a follower of Christ. The first Beatitude addresses the ‘poor in spirit.’ Jesus contrasts their condition of lowliness with the highest honor bestowed upon anyone, “theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’’ Through this Beatitude, Barclay comments that Jesus refers to ‘the man who has realized that things mean nothing and that God means everything.’ Jesus blesses those who are humble and place their total trust in God to provide for them. In terms of morality, this teaches us that we should not idolize material things but realize that without the grace of God, none of these things are available or matter; without God we are utterly helpless. In order to live a moral life we must uphold the values of humility and total obedience to God. Next, Jesus blesses ‘those who mourn’ with the security that ‘they will be comforted.’ This Beatitude not only refers to those who mourn the loss of a loved one, but as Barclay highlights, it also blesses those who mourn for ‘their own sins and unworthiness.’ By showing a sense of sorrow and repentance for their sins, they realize their sin is not only against themselves but against someone more important, God Almighty, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. Allison points out that this Beatitude also blesses those who mourn ‘over the evil in the world and the evil prospering on earth.’ This Beatitude is morally significant as it teaches us that Godly sorrow brings repentance that...
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