Example #99 Treaties and Virtues

What if history explored justice, forgiveness and peace through a treaty?

Colin taught Secondary history and wanted students to consider the Treaty of Versailles that ended the First World War in terms of justice, forgiveness and peace as understood in biblical terms.

"I started with a presentation that explained a Christian understanding of forgiveness, justice and peace. I gave them the following summary:

  • Justice is often seen as the opposite of forgiveness and love but they relate closely in the Bible. Justice is about putting things right and delivering from oppression, it is a way of showing love in some situations. Someone can be forgiven but justice may still be required.
  • Forgiveness is cancelling an acknowledged ‘debt’ caused by wrong and mending a fractured relationship; as such it is an aspect of love. Forgiveness can be an act of will not just an emotion and repentance is usually required by the wrong doer.
  • Peace is more than lack of conflict, it is when relationships are right at a deep level, when people and situations are flourishing, healthy and complete.

"We went on to examine the treaty using the following prompts:

  • What needed to be forgiven?
  • Justice for whom?
  • Who ‘won’ under the principles adopted in 1919?
  • How might it have been different if biblical principles had been applied?
  • What sort of peace could have been created?

"At the end I gave time for students to reflect on how things may have been different if other choices had been made. I showed some post-war images while they did this.

What’s going on here?

Colin saw history as an appropriate context for exploring the role of forgiveness, justice and peace and how that may have altered the outcome for many communities.

He engaged students, including asking them to discuss using questions that focused on values and encouraging them to reflect on how history may have been different had other choices been made.

He reshaped his practice by framing the lesson with specific values and changing his introduction to focus on them. He followed this through by changing his discussion questions to be in line with his new emphasis.

How do I do this myself?

What does this have to do with faith, hope and love?

The Bible sees forgiveness as a response to being forgiven by God. It is an aspect of love which does not let sin destroy a relationship for ever; a relationship can be rebuilt with repentance and forgiveness. Peace, justice and forgiveness are all hopeful virtues as they they point to healing and restoration. They are also difficult to practise, and faith in God and the help of the Holy Spirit are needed.

What difference does it make?

Stopping to consider how the past might have been different can raise student awareness of the importance of choices and that things do not have to take an inevitable course. Different choices were made in South Africa which, despite its problems, did not descend into the predicted blood-bath with the ending of apartheid.

Where do we go from here?

Colin could select other appropriate values to frame lessons. He could use values such as compassion and humility to assess people who made a difference in history.

Digging deeper

God calls people to follow ‘justice and only justice’ (Deuteronomy 16:20). God's justice shows itself in acting on behalf of the powerless (Psalm 72:7; Psalm 72:12) often represented as the orphan, the widow and the stranger – those with no one to defend them and who are often treated unfairly. God expects his people to make justice and redressing wrongs their aim (Isaiah 1:13-17).
Charity is no substitute for justice withheld. St Augustine
The Bible describes God as a God of justice and the prophet Amos thundered against the injustices of his day where the vulnerable were oppressed and the rich just got richer. He called for justice to roll like a river (Amos 5:24). People seem to have an innate sense of justice and are rightly outraged at the injustice they see in the world (Malachi 2:17).
 
Forgiveness was modelled by Christ who forgave his enemies (Luke 23:24). Asking God for forgiveness should result in forgiveness of others (Matthew 6:14-15; Colossians 3:13) Forgiveness is not just a feeling; it can be an act of will.
Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. Corrie Ten Boom
Biblical peace is about wholeness and things being right in our relationships, in our bodies, minds, and in our world. It is positive peace, not just a lack of conflict. That experience of the peace of God is a foretaste of his peace to come (John 14:27). Having peace and hope does not mean that life will be easy.

Explore similar examples:

What if learning about map projections were about fairness?
What if history were about being agents of change?
What if pie charts were about facing truth?
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1People of Israel, you must celebrate Passover in the month of Abib, because one night in that month years ago, the Lord your God rescued you from Egypt. 2The Passover sacrifice must be a cow, a sheep, or a goat, and you must offer it at the place where the Lord chooses to be worshipped. 3Eat all the meat of the Passover sacrifice that same night. But don't serve bread made with yeast at the Passover meal. Serve the same kind of thin bread that you ate when you were slaves suffering in Egypt and when you had to leave Egypt quickly. As long as you live, this thin bread will remind you of the day you left Egypt. For seven days following Passover, don't make any bread with yeast. In fact, there should be no yeast anywhere in Israel. 5Don't offer the Passover sacrifice in any town where you happen to live. 6It must be offered at the place where the Lord chooses to be worshipped. Kill the sacrifice at sunset, the time of day when you left Egypt. 7Then cook it and eat it there at the place of worship, returning to your tents the next morning. 8Eat thin bread for the next six days. Then on the seventh day, don't do any work. Instead, come together and worship the Lord . The Harvest Festival (Exodus 34.22; Leviticus 23.15-21) Moses said to Israel: 9Seven weeks after you start your grain harvest, 10go to the place where the Lord chooses to be worshipped and celebrate the Harvest Festival in honour of the Lord your God. Bring him an offering as large as you can afford, depending on how big a harvest he has given you. Be sure to take along your sons and daughters and all your servants. Also invite the poor, including Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows. 12Remember that you used to be slaves in Egypt, so obey these laws. The Festival of Shelters (Leviticus 23.33-43; Numbers 29.12-38) Moses said to Israel: 13After you have finished the grain harvest and the grape harvest, take your sons and daughters and all your servants to the place where the Lord chooses to be worshipped. Celebrate the Festival of Shelters for seven days. Also invite the poor, including Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows. The Lord will give you big harvests and make you successful in everything you do. You will be completely happy, so celebrate this festival in honour of the Lord your God. Three festivals at the place of worship (Exodus 23.14-17) Moses said: 16Each year there are three festivals when all Israelite men must go to the place where the Lord chooses to be worshipped. These are the Festival of Thin Bread, the Harvest Festival, and the Festival of Shelters. And don't forget to take along a gift for the Lord . 17The bigger the harvest the Lord gives you, the bigger your gift should be. Treat everyone with justice Moses said to Israel: 18After you are settled in the towns that you will receive from the Lord your God, the people in each town must appoint judges and other officers. Those of you who become judges must be completely fair when you make legal decisions, even if someone important is involved. Don't take bribes to give unfair decisions. Bribes keep people who are wise from seeing the truth and turn honest people into liars. 20People of Israel, if you want to enjoy a long and successful life, make sure that everyone is treated with justice in the land the Lord is giving you. Don't set up sacred poles or stones Moses said to Israel: 21When you build the altar for offering sacrifices to the Lord your God, don't set up a sacred pole for the worship of the goddess Asherah. 22And don't set up a sacred stone! The Lord hates these things. Sacrifices that have something wrong with them Moses said to Israel:
1Please help the king to be honest and fair just like you, our God. 2Let him be honest and fair with all your people, especially the poor. 3Let peace and justice rule every mountain and hill. 4Let the king defend the poor, rescue the homeless, and crush everyone who hurts them. 5Let the king live for ever like the sun and the moon. 6Let him be as helpful as rain that refreshes the meadows and the ground. 7Let the king be fair with everyone, and let there be peace until the moon falls from the sky. 8Let his kingdom reach from sea to sea, from the River Euphrates across all the earth. 9Force the desert tribes to accept his rule, and make his enemies crawl in the dust. 10Force the rulers of Tarshish and of the islands to pay taxes to him. Make the kings of Sheba and of Seba bring gifts. 11Make other rulers bow down and all nations serve him. 12Do this because the king rescues the homeless when they cry out, and he helps everyone who is poor and in need. 13The king has pity on the weak and the helpless and protects those in need. 14He cares when they suffer, and he saves them from cruel and violent deaths. 15Long live the king! Give him gold from Sheba. Always pray for the king and praise him each day. 16Let cities overflow with food and hills be covered with grain, just like Mount Lebanon. Let the people in the cities prosper like wild flowers. 17May the glory of the king shine brightly for ever like the sun in the sky. Let him make nations prosper and learn to praise him. 18Lord God of Israel, we praise you. Only you can work miracles. 19We will always praise your glorious name. Let your glory be seen everywhere on earth. Amen and amen. 20This ends the prayers of David, the son of Jesse. (Psalms 7389) (A psalm by Asaph.) God is good
1Please help the king to be honest and fair just like you, our God. 2Let him be honest and fair with all your people, especially the poor. 3Let peace and justice rule every mountain and hill. 4Let the king defend the poor, rescue the homeless, and crush everyone who hurts them. 5Let the king live for ever like the sun and the moon. 6Let him be as helpful as rain that refreshes the meadows and the ground. 7Let the king be fair with everyone, and let there be peace until the moon falls from the sky. 8Let his kingdom reach from sea to sea, from the River Euphrates across all the earth. 9Force the desert tribes to accept his rule, and make his enemies crawl in the dust. 10Force the rulers of Tarshish and of the islands to pay taxes to him. Make the kings of Sheba and of Seba bring gifts. 11Make other rulers bow down and all nations serve him. 12Do this because the king rescues the homeless when they cry out, and he helps everyone who is poor and in need. 13The king has pity on the weak and the helpless and protects those in need. 14He cares when they suffer, and he saves them from cruel and violent deaths. 15Long live the king! Give him gold from Sheba. Always pray for the king and praise him each day. 16Let cities overflow with food and hills be covered with grain, just like Mount Lebanon. Let the people in the cities prosper like wild flowers. 17May the glory of the king shine brightly for ever like the sun in the sky. Let him make nations prosper and learn to praise him. 18Lord God of Israel, we praise you. Only you can work miracles. 19We will always praise your glorious name. Let your glory be seen everywhere on earth. Amen and amen. 20This ends the prayers of David, the son of Jesse. (Psalms 7389) (A psalm by Asaph.) God is good
1I am Isaiah, the son of Amoz. And this is the message that I was given about Judah and Jerusalem when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were the kings of Judah: A guilty nation 2The Lord has said, Listen, heaven and earth! The children I raised have turned against me. 3Oxen and donkeys know who owns and feeds them, but my people won't ever learn. 4Israel, you are a sinful nation loaded down with guilt. You are wicked and corrupt and have turned from the Lord , the holy God of Israel. 5Why be punished more? Why not give up your sin? Your head is badly bruised, and you are weak all over. 6From your head to your toes there isn't a healthy spot. Bruises, cuts, and open sores go without care or oil to ease the pain. A country in ruins 7Your country lies in ruins; your towns are in ashes. Foreigners and strangers take and destroy your land while you watch. 8Enemies surround Jerusalem, alone like a hut in a vineyard or in a cucumber field. 9Zion would have disappeared like Sodom and Gomorrah, if the Lord All-Powerful had not let a few of its people survive. Justice, not sacrifices 10You are no better than the leaders and people of Sodom and Gomorrah! So listen to the Lord God: 11Your sacrifices mean nothing to me. I am sick of your offerings of rams and choice cattle; I don't like the blood of bulls or lambs or goats. 12Who asked you to bring all this when you come to worship me? Stay out of my temple! 13Your sacrifices are worthless, and incense is disgusting. I can't stand the evil you do on your New Moon Festivals or on your Sabbaths and other times of worship. 14I hate your New Moon Festivals and all others as well. They are a heavy burden I am tired of carrying. 15No matter how much you pray, I won't listen. You are too violent. 16Wash yourselves clean! I am disgusted with your filthy deeds. Stop doing wrong 17and learn to live right. See that justice is done. Defend widows and orphans and help those in need. An invitation from the Lord 18I, the Lord , invite you to come and talk it over. Your sins are scarlet red, but they will be whiter than snow or wool. 19If you willingly obey me, the best crops in the land will be yours. 20But if you turn against me, your enemies will kill you. I, the Lord , have spoken. The Lord condemns Jerusalem 21Jerusalem, you are like an unfaithful wife. Once your judges were honest and your people lived right; now you are a city full of murderers. 22Your silver is fake, and your wine is watered down. 23Your leaders have rejected me to become friends of crooks; your rulers are looking for gifts and bribes. Widows and orphans never get a fair trial. 24I am the Lord All-Powerful, the mighty ruler of Israel, and I make you a promise: you are now my enemy, and I will show my anger by taking revenge on you. 25I will punish you terribly and burn away everything that makes you unfit to worship me. 26Jerusalem, I will choose judges and advisers like those you had before. Your new name will be Justice and Faithfulness. The Lord will save Jerusalem 27Jerusalem, you will be saved by showing justice; Zion's people who turn to me will be saved by doing right. 28But those rebellious sinners who turn against me, the Lord , will all disappear. 29You will be made ashamed of those groves of trees where you worshipped idols. 30You will be like a grove of trees dying in a drought. 31Your strongest leaders will be like dry wood set on fire by their idols. No one will be able to help, as they all go up in flames. Peace that lasts for ever
1Listen, nation of Israel, to my mournful message: 2you, dearest Israel, have fallen, never to rise again you lie deserted in your own land, with no one to help you up. 3The Lord God has warned, From every ten soldiers only one will be left; from a thousand troops, only a hundred will survive. 4The Lord keeps saying, Israel, turn back to me and you will live! 5Don't go to Gilgal or Bethel or even to Beersheba. Gilgal will be dragged away, and Bethel will end up as nothing. 6Turn back to the Lord , you descendants of Joseph, and you will live. If you don't, the Lord will attack like fire. Bethel will burn to the ground, and no one can save it. 7You people are doomed! You twist the truth and trample on justice. 8But the Lord created the stars and put them in place. He turns darkness to dawn and daylight to darkness; he scoops up the ocean and empties it on the earth. 9God destroys mighty soldiers and strong fortresses. Choose good instead of evil! The Lord said: 10You people hate judges and honest witnesses; 11you abuse the poor and demand heavy taxes from them. You have built expensive homes, but you won't enjoy them; you have planted vineyards, but you will get no wine. 12I am the Lord , and I know your terrible sins. You cheat honest people and take bribes; you rob the poor of justice. 13Times are so evil that anyone with good sense will keep quiet. 14If you really want to live, you must stop doing wrong and start doing right. I, the Lord God All-Powerful, will then be on your side, just as you claim I am. 15Choose good instead of evil! See that justice is done. Perhaps I, the Lord All-Powerful, will be kind to what's left of your people. Judgment is coming 16This is what the Lord has sworn: Noisy crying will be heard in every town and street. Even farmers will be told to mourn for the dead, together with those who are paid to mourn. 17Your vineyards will be filled with crying and weeping, because I will punish you. I, the Lord , have spoken! When the Lord judges 18You look forward to the day when the Lord comes to judge. But you are in for trouble! It won't be a time of sunshine; all will be darkness. 19You will run from a lion, only to meet a bear. You will escape to your house, rest your hand on the wall, and be bitten by a snake. 20The day when the Lord judges will be dark, very dark, without a ray of light. What the Lord demands 21I, the Lord , hate and despise your religious celebrations and your times of worship. 22I won't accept your offerings or animal sacrifices not even your very best. 23No more of your noisy songs! I won't listen when you play your harps. 24But let justice and fairness flow like a river that never runs dry. 25Israel, for forty years you wandered in the desert, without bringing offerings or sacrifices to me. 26Now you will have to carry the two idols you made Sakkuth, the one you call king, and Kaiwan, the one you built in the shape of a star. 27I will force you to march as captives beyond Damascus. I, the Lord God All-Powerful, have spoken! Israel will be punished
1I, the Lord All-Powerful, have something else to say to you priests. 2You had better take seriously the need to honour my name. Otherwise, when you give a blessing, I will turn it into a curse. In fact, I have already done this, because you haven't taken to heart your duties as priests. 3I will punish your descendants and rub your faces in the manure from your animal sacrifices, and then be done with you. 4I am telling you this, so I can continue to keep my agreement with your ancestor Levi. 5I blessed him with a full life, as I had promised, and he kept his part of the agreement by honouring me and respecting my name. 6He taught the truth and never told lies, and he led a lot of people to turn from sin, because he obeyed me and lived right. 7You priests should be eager to spread knowledge, and everyone should come to you for instruction, because you speak for me, the Lord All-Powerful. 8But you have turned your backs on me. Your teachings have led others to do sinful things, and you have broken the agreement I made with your ancestor Levi. 9So I caused everyone to hate and despise you, because you disobeyed me and failed to treat all people alike. 10Don't you know that we all have God as our Father? Didn't the one God create each of us? Then why do you cheat each other by breaking the agreement God made with your ancestors? 11You people in Judah and Jerusalem have been unfaithful to the Lord . You have disgraced the temple that he loves, and you have committed the disgusting sin of worshipping other gods. 12I pray that the Lord will no longer let those who are guilty belong to his people, even if they eagerly decide to offer the Lord a gift. 13And what else are you doing? You cry noisily and flood the Lord 's altar with your tears, because he isn't pleased with your offerings and refuses to accept them. 14And why isn't God pleased? It's because he knows that each of you men has been unfaithful to the wife you married when you were young. You promised that she would be your partner, but now you have broken that promise. 15Didn't God create you to become like one person with your wife? And why did he do this? It was so you would have children, and then lead them to become God's people. Don't ever be unfaithful to your wife. 16The Lord God All-Powerful of Israel hates anyone who is cruel enough to divorce his wife. So take care never to be unfaithful! 17You have worn out the Lord with your words. And yet, you ask, How did we do that? You did it by saying, The Lord is pleased with evil and doesn't care about justice. The promised messenger
1Everyone in the council got up and led Jesus off to Pilate. 2They started accusing him and said, We caught this man trying to get our people to riot and to stop paying taxes to the Emperor. He also claims that he is the Messiah, our king. 3Pilate asked Jesus, Are you the king of the Jews? Those are your words, Jesus answered. 4Pilate told the chief priests and the crowd, I don't find him guilty of anything. 5But they all kept on saying, He has been teaching and causing trouble all over Judea. He started in Galilee and has now come all the way here. Jesus is brought before Herod 6When Pilate heard this, he asked, Is this man from Galilee? 7After Pilate learnt that Jesus came from the region ruled by Herod, he sent him to Herod, who was in Jerusalem at that time. 8For a long time Herod had wanted to see Jesus and was very happy because he finally had this chance. He had heard many things about Jesus and hoped to see him perform a miracle. 9Herod asked him a lot of questions, but Jesus did not answer. 10Then the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses stood up and accused him of all kinds of bad things. 11Herod and his soldiers made fun of Jesus and insulted him. They put a fine robe on him and sent him back to Pilate. 12That same day Herod and Pilate became friends, even though they had been enemies before this. The death sentence (Matthew 27.15-26; Mark 15.6-15; John 18.3919.16) 13Pilate called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people. 14He told them, You brought Jesus to me and said he was a troublemaker. But I have questioned him here in front of you, and I have not found him guilty of anything that you say he has done. 15Herod didn't find him guilty either and sent him back. This man doesn't deserve to be put to death! 16I will just have him beaten with a whip and set free. 18But the whole crowd shouted, Kill Jesus! Give us Barabbas! 19Now Barabbas was in jail because he had started a riot in the city and had murdered someone. 20Pilate wanted to set Jesus free, so he spoke again to the crowds. 21But they kept shouting, Nail him to a cross! Nail him to a cross! 22Pilate spoke to them a third time, But what crime has he done? I have not found him guilty of anything for which he should be put to death. I will have him beaten with a whip and set free. 23The people kept on shouting as loud as they could for Jesus to be put to death. 24Finally, Pilate gave in. 25He freed the man who was in jail for rioting and murder, because he was the one the crowd wanted to be set free. Then Pilate handed Jesus over for them to do what they wanted with him. Jesus is nailed to a cross (Matthew 27.31-44; Mark 15.21-32; John 19.17-27) 26As Jesus was being led away, some soldiers grabbed hold of a man from Cyrene named Simon. He was coming in from the fields, but they put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27A large crowd was following Jesus, and in the crowd a lot of women were crying and weeping for him. 28Jesus turned to the women and said: Women of Jerusalem, don't cry for me! Cry for yourselves and for your children. 29Some day people will say, Women who never had children are really fortunate! 30At that time everyone will say to the mountains, Fall on us! They will say to the hills, Hide us! 31If this can happen when the wood is green, what do you think will happen when it is dry? 32Two criminals were led out to be put to death with Jesus. 33When the soldiers came to the place called The Skull, they nailed Jesus to a cross. They also nailed the two criminals to crosses, one on each side of Jesus. 34Jesus said, Father, forgive these people! They don't know what they're doing. While the crowd stood there watching Jesus, the soldiers gambled for his clothes. The leaders insulted him by saying, He saved others. Now he should save himself, if he really is God's chosen Messiah! 36The soldiers made fun of Jesus and brought him some wine. 37They said, If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself! 38Above him was a sign that said, This is the King of the Jews. 39One of the criminals hanging there also insulted Jesus by saying, Aren't you the Messiah? Save yourself and save us! 40But the other criminal told the first one off, Don't you fear God? Aren't you getting the same punishment as this man? 41We got what was coming to us, but he didn't do anything wrong. 42Then he said to Jesus, Remember me when you come into power! 43Jesus replied, I promise that today you will be with me in paradise. The death of Jesus (Matthew 27.45-56; Mark 15.33-41; John 19.28-30) 44Around midday the sky turned dark and stayed that way until the middle of the afternoon. 45The sun stopped shining, and the curtain in the temple split down the middle. 46Jesus shouted, Father, I put myself in your hands! Then he died. 47When the Roman officer saw what had happened, he praised God and said, Jesus must really have been a good man! 48A crowd had gathered to see the terrible sight. Then after they had seen it, they felt brokenhearted and went home. 49All Jesus' close friends and the women who had come with him from Galilee stood at a distance and watched. Jesus is buried (Matthew 27.57-61; Mark 15.42-47; John 19.38-42) 50There was a man named Joseph, who was from Arimathea in Judea. Joseph was a good and honest man, and he was eager for God's kingdom to come. He was also a member of the Jewish council, but he did not agree with what they had decided. 52Joseph went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body. 53He took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in fine cloth. Then he put it in a tomb that had been cut out of solid rock and had never been used. 54It was Friday, and the Sabbath was about to begin. 55The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and watched how Jesus' body was placed in the tomb. 56Then they went to prepare some sweet-smelling spices for his burial. But on the Sabbath they rested, as the Law of Moses commands. Jesus is alive (Matthew 28.1-10; Mark 16.1-8; John 20.1-10)
1When you do good deeds, don't try to show off. If you do, you won't get a reward from your Father in heaven. 2When you give to the poor, don't blow a loud horn. That's what show-offs do in the meeting places and on the street corners, because they are always looking for praise. I can assure you that they already have their reward. 3When you give to the poor, don't let anyone know about it. 4Then your gift will be given in secret. Your Father knows what is done in secret, and he will reward you. Prayer (Luke 11.2-4) Jesus continued: 5When you pray, don't be like those show-offs who love to stand up and pray in the meeting places and on the street corners. They do this just to look good. I can assure you that they already have their reward. 6When you pray, go into a room alone and close the door. Pray to your Father in private. He knows what is done in private, and he will reward you. 7When you pray, don't talk on and on as people do who don't know God. They think God likes to hear long prayers. 8Don't be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask. 9You should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, help us to honour your name. 10Come and set up your kingdom, so that everyone on earth will obey you, as you are obeyed in heaven. 11Give us our food for today. 12Forgive us for doing wrong, as we forgive others. 13Keep us from being tempted and protect us from evil. 14If you forgive others for the wrongs they do to you, your Father in heaven will forgive you. 15But if you don't forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Worshipping God by going without eating Jesus continued: 16When you go without eating, don't try to look gloomy as those show-offs do when they go without eating. I can assure you that they already have their reward. 17Instead, comb your hair and wash your face. 18Then others won't know that you are going without eating. But your Father sees what is done in private, and he will reward you. Treasures in heaven (Luke 12.33,34) Jesus continued: 19Don't store up treasures on earth! Moths and rust can destroy them, and thieves can break in and steal them. 20Instead, store up your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy them, and thieves cannot break in and steal them. 21Your heart will always be where your treasure is. Light (Luke 11.34-36) Jesus continued: 22Your eyes are like a window for your body. When they are good, you have all the light you need. 23But when your eyes are bad, everything is dark. If the light inside you is dark, you are in the dark. Money (Luke 16.13) Jesus continued: 24You cannot be the slave of two masters! You will like one more than the other or be more loyal to one than the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Worry (Luke 12.22-31) Jesus continued: 25I tell you not to worry about your life. Don't worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn't life more than food or clothing? 26Look at the birds in the sky! They don't plant or harvest. They don't even store grain in barns. Yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. Aren't you worth more than birds? 27Can worry make you live longer? 28Why worry about clothes? Look how the wild flowers grow. They don't work hard to make their clothes. 29But I tell you that Solomon with all his wealth wasn't as well clothed as one of them. 30God gives such beauty to everything that grows in the fields, even though it is here today and thrown into a fire tomorrow. He will surely do even more for you! Why do you have such little faith? 31Don't worry and ask yourselves, Will we have anything to eat? Will we have anything to drink? Will we have any clothes to wear? 32Only people who don't know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father in heaven knows that you need all these. 33But more than anything else, put God's work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well. 34Don't worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today. Judging others (Luke 6.37,38,41,42) Jesus said:
1You have been raised to life with Christ. Now set your heart on what is in heaven, where Christ rules at God's right side. 2Think about what is up there, not about what is here on earth. 3You died, which means that your life is hidden with Christ, who sits beside God. 4Christ gives meaning to your life, and when he appears, you will also appear with him in glory. 5Don't be controlled by your body. Kill every desire for the wrong kind of sex. Don't be immoral or indecent or have evil thoughts. Don't be greedy, which is the same as worshipping idols. 6God is angry with people who disobey him by doing these things. 7And that is exactly what you did, when you lived among people who behaved in this way. 8But now you must stop doing such things. You must stop being angry, hateful, and evil. You must no longer say insulting or cruel things about others. 9And stop lying to each other. You have given up your old way of life with its habits. 10Each of you is now a new person. You are becoming more and more like your Creator, and you will understand him better. 11It doesn't matter if you are a Greek or a Jew, or if you are circumcised or not. You may even be a barbarian or a Scythian, and you may be a slave or a free person. Yet Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. 12God loves you and has chosen you as his own special people. So be gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient. 13Put up with each other, and forgive anyone who does you wrong, just as Christ has forgiven you. 14Love is more important than anything else. It is what ties everything completely together. 15Each one of you is part of the body of Christ, and you were chosen to live together in peace. So let the peace that comes from Christ control your thoughts. And be grateful. 16Let the message about Christ completely fill your lives, while you use all your wisdom to teach and instruct each other. With thankful hearts, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17Whatever you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks to God the Father because of him. Some rules for Christian living 18A wife must put her husband first. This is her duty as a follower of the Lord. 19A husband must love his wife and not abuse her. 20Children must always obey their parents. This pleases the Lord. 21Parents, don't be hard on your children. If you are, they might give up. 22Slaves, you must always obey your earthly masters. Try to please them at all times, and not just when you think they are watching. Honour the Lord and serve your masters with your whole heart. 23Do your work willingly, as though you were serving the Lord himself, and not just your earthly master. 24In fact, the Lord Christ is the one you are really serving, and you know that he will reward you. 25But Christ has no favourites! He will punish evil people, just as they deserve.
1Jesus said to his disciples, Don't be worried! Have faith in God and have faith in me. 2There are many rooms in my Father's house. I wouldn't tell you this, unless it was true. I am going there to prepare a place for each of you. 3After I have done this, I will come back and take you with me. Then we will be together. 4You know the way to where I am going. 5Thomas said, Lord, we don't even know where you are going! How can we know the way? 6I am the way, the truth, and the life! Jesus answered. Without me, no one can go to the Father. 7If you had known me, you would have known the Father. But from now on, you do know him, and you have seen him. 8Philip said, Lord, show us the Father. That is all we need. 9Jesus replied: Philip, I have been with you for a long time. Don't you know who I am? If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. How can you ask me to show you the Father? 10Don't you believe that I am one with the Father and that the Father is one with me? What I say isn't said on my own. The Father who lives in me does these things. 11Have faith in me when I say that the Father is one with me and that I am one with the Father. Or else have faith in me simply because of the things I do. 12I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things that I am doing. You will do even greater things, now that I am going back to the Father. 13Ask me, and I will do whatever you ask. This way the Son will bring honour to the Father. 14I will do whatever you ask me to do. The Holy Spirit is promised 15Jesus said to his disciples: If you love me, you will do as I command. 16Then I will ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit who will help you and always be with you. 17The Spirit will show you what is true. The people of this world cannot accept the Spirit, because they don't see or know him. But you know the Spirit, who is with you and will keep on living in you. 18I won't leave you like orphans. I will come back to you. 19In a little while the people of this world won't be able to see me, but you will see me. And because I live, you will live. 20Then you will know that I am one with the Father. You will know that you are one with me, and I am one with you. 21If you love me, you will do what I have said, and my Father will love you. I will also love you and show you what I am like. 22The other Judas, not Judas Iscariot, then spoke up and asked, Lord, what do you mean by saying that you will show us what you are like, but you will not show the people of this world? 23Jesus replied: If anyone loves me, they will obey me. Then my Father will love them, and we will come to them and live in them. 24But anyone who doesn't love me, won't obey me. What they have heard me say doesn't really come from me, but from the Father who sent me. 25I have told you these things while I am still with you. 26But the Holy Spirit will come and help you, because the Father will send the Spirit to take my place. The Spirit will teach you everything and will remind you of what I said while I was with you. 27I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn't like the peace that this world can give. So don't be worried or afraid. 28You have already heard me say that I am going and that I will also come back to you. If you really love me, you should be glad that I am going back to the Father, because he is greater than I am. 29I am telling you this before I leave, so that when it does happen, you will have faith in me. 30I cannot speak with you much longer, because the ruler of this world is coming. But he has no power over me. 31I obey my Father, so that everyone in the world might know that I love him. It is time for us to go now. Jesus is the true vine