Lower VI R.E.

Was Jesus a Game Changer?

Ms Corkery reports on life in Lower VI as they study R.E.

‘In General R.E. lessons, Lower VI have spent the first half of the Michaelmas Term examining the extent to which Jesus was a game changer. They have explored Jesus’ influence from a number of key perspectives, including his contribution to equality, the status of women and children in society, and concepts of leadership and democracy. The girls have also looked at Jesus’ novel approach to forgiveness and care against the backdrop of differing Jewish and Greco-Roman worldviews.

They have also discussed the influence of Christianity on important figures such as William Wilberforce who, inspired by Christian values and the Bible, campaigned for the abolition of the slave trade. His words are most pertinent for today: “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know” (William Wilberforce). The girls have recently written articles to display their learning in the unit, three of which are posted below. Enjoy the read!’

Jesus the Game Changer 

By Mariam and Naina 

‘Jesus was a game changer in paving the way for equality. Jesus taught that every human being is made in the image of God (Imago Dei). His message was much more progressive than for someone living at his time. However, although what he is saying is not inaccurate, in today’s society there is still not full equality for women, even in developed countries, and society still degrades others. This shows that his teachings may not have had as huge an impact on society as we thought. Nonetheless, we must not disregard Jesus’ teachings as being unimportant; this is because he inspired others to strive for greater equality and for women, he acknowledged their increasing significance in society, something that the majority of men at the time were unwilling to do. Jesus held a high opinion of women, and had numerous interactions with them. 

Jesus was a game changer as he has influenced even those who are strong minded. This is shown by William Wilberforce. Christianity had a major impact on Wilberforce when he discovered the truth of Jesus Christ and equality. This created a passion in Wilberforce to abolish slavery, the slave trade and any types of inequalities. Wilberforce felt that God called him specifically to use his powers as a politician to abolish the slave trade. He was also interested in the reformation of man. Wilberforce said ‘God has put before me two main aims, the abolition of slavery and the reformation of man’. This huge revolution showed the impact of Christ’s words and how in fact he is a game changer.

Wilberforce followed in Jesus’ footsteps and, by doing so, he and his companions changed the mind sets of others about slavery. He wanted to show that we are all equal. He achieved this by creating groups that were outspokenly Christian, advocating helping the poor and created a culture that included equality and doing good. His work led to the abolition of the slave trade. 

The fact that Jesus gave women an important status in early Christianity further highlights how he was a game changer. By holding women in high esteem, Jesus actively promoted equality for women. During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus presented radical teaching designed to protect women. He said that men could not divorce women, except in the case of adultery, which helps to protect the rights of women. In addition to this, today, the marriage vows in Christianity further state this because both men and women say the same vows showing that their love is equal and their actions towards each other will not differ due to gender. Moreover, Jesus had female disciples, some of whom funded his mission, revealing how Jesus did not hold powerful women with money with contempt.  In society at that time, powerful women would not have been respected, as many believed that wealth and power should be reserved for men. 

Even today, Jesus is still a game changer. This is shown by society and even children in school giving to charity. Young children, from the age of three are taught how to treat each other (classmates) with equality and fairness. Throughout our lives, we are taught not be judgmental about others and to treat others with equality. The words of Jesus Christ are still in play in today’s society, ‘love thy neighbour’, which not only Catholics and other Christians follow, but most of society.’

How was Jesus a Game Changer?

By Tierney and Jasmin

‘It is a universal truth that Jesus was, and still is, the biggest game changer in the history of the world. Jesus challenged traditional discriminatory beliefs by exerting his divine revolutionary perspective on equality, forgiveness and relations with women and children. Jesus’ teaching was game changing as he said forgiveness was no longer through the temple. In Judaism, people were forgiven by bringing sacrifices to the temple in Jerusalem; Jesus challenged this as through Jesus any sin can be forgiven. In Judaism, forgiveness was conditional in paying back what you owed – an ‘eye for an eye’. In Jesus, God forgives unconditionally.

Jesus’ idea of forgiveness calls for people not to exact revenge but instead to engage in the process of extraordinary forgiveness. For example, Pope St John Paul II forgave the man who shot him. Forgiveness is part of personal growth because it allows you to get rid of the ‘cancer of bitterness and anger’. Jesus taught that every single human being is made in the image of God and all human beings are equal. We can follow in his example by giving to charity and treating everyone equally and with respect. For example, companies having equal wages for men and women and not looking down on others for their wealth and jobs. Democracy was also encouraged by Jesus as Christianity influences democracy due to its focus on equality; it advocates that every individual has worth and dignity, also expressed in the Christian concept of ‘sanctity of life’.

In Judaism at the time of Jesus, Jewish men prayed to thank God that they were not a Gentile or a woman and could divorce their wives with ease. However, Jesus had a higher opinion of women, given that he had a number of social interactions with them. During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus produced radical teaching designed to protect women; he said men could not divorce women except in the case of adultery. Jesus had women disciples and he interacted with women who would normally be shunned by Jewish society, showing his acceptance of all and leading us by example. Sadly, women and children are still treated badly today. Women are often discriminated in jobs because of lower wages to men, which undermines their status. Human trafficking denies women and children freedom and enslaves them. Some Catholic women feel their freedom is limited in terms of the priesthood. Jesus’ revolutionary perspectives and the changes he made encourages us to lead by his example and change the world for the better.’

Was Jesus a Game Changer? 

By Mia and Siya 

‘Over the course of the first half of this term, we looked at the extent to which Jesus was a ‘Game Changer’.  We looked at a variety of topics such as Jesus, Equality, Forgiveness, Women and children, Democracy, Care, Leadership, and the overall importance of Jesus. Having studied these topics in depth, we can conclude that Jesus was one of the most influential people in history and we would like to share some of these insights with you. 

One way in which Jesus was a game changer was through equality, where Jesus was able to change Wilberforce so that he felt that God had called him specifically to use his power as a politician to abolish the slave trade. Wilberforce said, “God has put before me two main aims, the abolition of slavery and the reformation of man”. This led Wilberforce to becoming a Game Changer as his work led to the abolition of the slave trade. Wilberforce created a community that was outspokenly Christian, advocating helping the poor; this was living out Jesus’ message. It became culturally fashionable to do ‘good’ to others in society.    

Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness was very much seen as game changing. In Judaism, people were forgiven for accidental sins by bringing sacrifices to the temple in Jerusalem; however, Jesus allowed intentional sin to be forgiven too. Furthermore, people receive unconditional forgiveness from God and that enables them to forgive others. On the other hand, in Judaism forgiveness was conditional, as you had to pay back what you owed: “an eye for an eye”. Jesus’ idea of forgiveness calls for people not to exact revenge but to engage in the process of extraordinary forgiveness. Overall, Jesus taught that forgiveness is part of personal growth because it allows you to get rid of the cancer of bitterness and anger. 

Jesus was a game changer when it came to his relationships with women. In Judaism at the time, Jewish men prayed to thank God for not being a Gentile or a woman. However, Jesus held a high opinion of women given that he had numerous social interactions with them. Furthermore, men could divorce women; however, women could not divorce men. Therefore, during the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus presented radical teachings designed to protect women. He said men could not divorce women except for the case of adultery. Moreover, Jesus had female disciples, which would have been unheard of, some who even formed part of his ministry. For example, Mary Magdalene was the first person to see the risen Jesus, which demonstrates women’s authority and status within early Christianity. 

In conclusion, Jesus was a game changer as shown through his work to do with equality, forgiveness and his relationships with women and children. Jesus taught that every single human being is made in the image of God and all human beings are equal. Through Jesus’ work, our day-to-day life has been affected, as it has inspired people to give to charity, helping those in need, to treat everyone with equality as men and women should be equal, an example of this today is the disparity of pay within the workplace.’