Three questions below
READ the other students’ original response and WRITE responses to each of them. Your comments will add a discussion thread for each. To be eligible for full credit, each response needs to be at least 150 words and offer fresh opinions and relevant new information, your own personal perspective or further questions about your colleague’s position.
Forgiveness figures prominently in the passages from the Bible. Jesus compared God to the angry king who revoked his forgiveness and threw the once-forgiven servant into jail. Can God really revoke his forgiveness and still be fair? Jesus warned, “So my Father will do to you if you do not forgive your brother from the heart.” But does threatening help a person to forgive?
Jessica’s Response- I think that God can revoke His forgiveness and still be fair. As stated in Matthew 18:35, “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.” God wants us to repent and accept Him as our Savior. He created us in His likeness and He offers forgiveness freely to all who repent. That is the key, repentance. This lesson is taught from the beginning. How can we expect God to forgive us if we cannot forgive? Just as in the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:12, “and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” We are to understand that to be forgiven means to forgive. I do think that threatening helps a person to understand the importance of forgiveness. I do not think God is threatening us with malicious intent, but begging us to forgive others so that He can open the gates of heaven to us when our time on earth is done. To say to a sinner that if we are unable to forgive our brother or sister for their ill will towards us means that God will do to us what we have been unable to forgive is so powerful. God knows all whether seen or unseen, He knows our hearts. He wants us to understand that we cannot hide from Him and He wants us to be able to truly forgive others. We are habitual sinners, all of us. After all, God sent His son to die for all of our sins before we were even formed. His son paid the ultimate price for sins we had yet to commit, and He forgave us. How can we deny forgiveness to a brother or sister, whom we know and love?
Question 2.“Workers in the Vineyard” is a very disturbing parable of Jesus, perhaps offensive to some people. Would you want to work for this farmer who paid everyone the same wage regardless of how long they worked? What would be your reaction if in the end the instructor gave every student an A for this course? Most of us are employees in hospitals, clinics or other health care facilities. On what basis should the amount we get paid be made: Seniority? Performance? Percentage of income generated? Level of responsibility? Anything else?
Jessica’s Response-When reading this passage I understood that farmers point. The workers he hired in the morning agreed to a set price and the farmer honored those wages. They had no reason to be upset with the farmer because not only did he honor his word, but the workers also left with money, which they had none of in the beginning. However, my outlook also makes me a hypocrite. If it were me, I’d be upset as well. Assuming that since the workers, who arrived late in the day, received wages equal to what was promised to me; I would be disappointed and upset when I received the same wage thinking the farmer was feeling generous in his payments to the other workers and that he was going to pay me more because I worked longer. This is an irrational way of thinking, but is part of our sinful nature.
If I knew that at the end of this course the instructor gave everyone an A I would be upset. I know how much effort and work I have put into this course and truly believe that my grade is a reflection of that. If everyone receives an A regardless of his or her work ethic what is the point to strive? Realistically, it shouldn’t matter to me what anyone else receives as their grade, I should just be happy with an A.
I think that the rate in which we should get paid should depend on several factors. I do not know if I think that seniority should be a basis, but experience. Employees shouldn’t discuss his or her wages amongst one another so there should never be a reason for discrepancy. I have found that just because an employee has been with the company for “X” amount of years doesn’t necessarily mean that a new employee should make less because they are new, especially if they have more experience than the current employee. I do think that performance reviews are also important regarding wages, particularly annual raises. Not every employee performs at the same level and if an employee is unhappy with his or her raise based on performance review that should give him or her incentive to strive to do better. I think that wage based on percentage of income generated depends on the job itself. Retail sales are typically based on percentage of income generated. Although I think it may apply in some instances, I do not think that basing wages on generated income works in all venues.
Question 3: The Good Samaritan is one of the best known stories of Jesus. How did the Jews treat the Samaritans in Jesus’ time? What do you see to be the main truths displayed in this parable? If you were to re-tell the story using characters from your city, who would play the role of the priest, the Levite, the Samaritan and the man wounded by robbers?
Roberts Response- Jews and Samaritans trace their ancestry to Abraham and king David. Therefore, they are considered blood brothers. One would think that as blood brothers they would get along very well, but their history had fueled rage towards each other and continued throughout the era Christ lived. The relationship between them was very poor and deteriorated to the point that devout Jews will not step foot on Samaria to cross to Jerusalem. Although both Jews and Samaritans believed and worshipped the same God, they could not live without showing a hostile attitude to each other. But the Parable of the Good Samaritan reveals to us that true love knows no boundaries. The Good Samaritan in this Parable out of love helped the gentleman who had been badly assaulted. This Good Samaritan was a foreigner compared to the priest (religious person) and the Levite (layman), yet he had mercy for the wounded, helped him and paid for his treatment, whiles the so-called men of God did not bother to help the wounded. This Parable sounds familiar with experiences we witness in our communities in contemporary times. Our local and town officials trumpet their intent to championing economic developments which barely happens, yet they corrupt themselves with all sort of deals including fat packages for their retirement at the expense of the struggling tax payer. The Good Samaritans in my community include the ordinary citizens who care enough to contribute to Food Banks to feed the poor, those who organize marathons and lemonade stands around town to help fund medical research, medical personnel (Doctors, Nurses, Technologist, etc.) who devote their time and money to travel to poor countries around the world to provide basic health services to many who cannot afford health care. I perceive any member of society regardless of their age, gender, race and status, who might need help to be likened to the wounded man in the parable. We all might need help from someone at one point from someone in our lives.
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