Comparison of Jesus and Paul’s teachings on Human Nature And Inter-Human Relationships In my paper on human nature and inter-human relationships, I am going to prove that Jesus is more loving and forgiving in his teachings and commands to the people, where as Paul is more direct and unyielding. Both Jesus and Paul had similar ideas of what human and inter-human relationships should consist of, but they differed in the way they delivered their individual messages. When Jesus speaks to the people he conveys a more positive and uplifting tone. He encourages us to be like God instead of acting out on our deeply ingrained sinful nature. Paul differs from Jesus because instead of speaking in love and understainding, he speaks to the people in a more condemning way. He lays the blame of the sinful and death-filled world onto them. Paul’s message to the people is basically that there is little room for change of the way we are as people because sin has already entered the world through man.
Jesus believed that it was human nature for people to gravitate towards darkness instead of ‘light.’ Our human nature was to be evil and we did not want that part of us to be exposed. In John 3:19-20, Jesus speaks of how light has come into this world and been made available to us, but because of our sinful human nature we are ashamed to reach out and expose that part of ourselves.. According to him, we do not accept the light at first
because we are scared it may show our true identity. Jesus explains this concept in a non-judgmental way. He is trying to convey that he accepts us no matter what state we are in as individuals and this passage is showing that humanity may possess darkness, but we all have the free will to come into the ‘light’ because he has given us that option to redeem ourselves. We no longer need to fear and hide from it, we can come out in the open and receive what Christ has given to us.
Jesus believed that we should exemplify God’s behavior within our inter-human relationships. He does not just want us to love those that are easy to love in our everyday lives, such as brothers or sisters, friends. Jesus wants us to take on the hard and arduous task of loving all mankind, even enemies. In Matthew 5:43-44,48, Jesus states "You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…Be perfect; therefore, as your heavenly father is perfect." Jesus wants us to follow God’s example by loving all people just as he loves each one of us unconditionally. He lovingly tells the people what needs to happen in our relationships with not just friends and people that we hold close to us, but also those that hurt us, deceive us, that are rude and malicious. Jesus wants us to have love for every person no matter what they have done because that is the kind of love God shows to each one of us on a daily basis no matter if we choose to believe and participate or not. We cannot just love those that are easy to love, the real test is to love
those that have wronged us, or someone close to us in major way. Then we will be exemplifying what God wants us to possess in our inter-human relationships.
Paul believes that it is through humanity’s sinful nature that death came into the world. He is telling the people that they are the cause of sin and death. According to Paul, we humans caused our own mortality by bringing our sinful nature into the world. From this sin death came to the earth and spread to all sinners. Paul puts the blame on humanity for death and sin. He accuses the people of having brought these terrible things into the world, even though it was brought into the world many generations earlier by Adam and Eve. We all have a sinful nature, but in this passage Paul does not attempt to offer God’s plan of salvation. He is a harsh prophet and condemning teacher unlike Christ who wants to help us rise above this sin and death. Paul views all of humanity as terrible sinners who need to understand the problems they have brought on themselves because of their human nature.
In our inter-human relationships with one another, Paul teaches that we must not cause our fellow Christian brothers and sisters to stumble in their walk with Christ by leading them into temptation. I Corinthians 8:9-13 says if a fellow Christian has an area they are weak in it is our responsibility to not partake of any activity in which they have a weakness for, lest we cause them temptation in that area. This is a good principle that could even be applied today. It is a good rule to follow and live this way among each other. If someone has a drinking problem, a gambling problem or any other general area of weakness, we should not be a hindrance to them. We need to help them overcome whatever obstacle they face by not tempting them with our own actions. This is Paul’s
strict teaching to the people. He even says that if food is the cause of their weakness "…I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall"(I Corinthians 8:13). He is demonstrating the importance of this principle by saying that even food is not exempt from this idea.
Both Jesus and Paul are very strong teachers, but Jesus speaks on human nature and inter-human relationships in a more encouraging way. Jesus is less condemning and does not blame the people as much for their sinful nature. He seems to understand humanity and all of its faults a lot more than Paul. Jesus if more receptive to the people and its almost like all he wants from us is to love each other with the same ‘agape’ love that God has for every single human on earth no matter what they have done past, present, or future. There are many times when it is easy to forget what we are called upon to do as Christians, and I think that Christ understood the kind of world we live in and how its easy to lose sight of what and how we should be living each day. I am not saying he condones sin, or will put up with it, Jesus is just more compassionate about our human nature because he understands and has wisdom about these things that Paul could never possess. Jesus has divine wisdom and understanding of these concepts unlike Paul who cannot see the entire framework of things because of his humanity.