Discuss the implications of Jesus' specific teachings in setting ethical standards.

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Some of the best examples of where Jesus' teachings can result in the establishment of ethical standards lies in many of the parables that he used to preach.  Consider the ethical standard of forgiveness seen in the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.  The power of forgiveness is something that is beautiful when exercised as it shows a sense of compassion and understanding between individuals of society.  When the servant demonstrates his own lack of forgiveness, it generates hatred and malevolence amongst society members.  In this, the ethical standard of forgiveness and understanding as a way to create social bonds between individuals is estabished.  The ethical understanding of how one treats another with forgiveness and understanding is appropriated through this parable.

This same idea of establishing ethics as a way to maintain social cohesion can be seen in the parable of the Good Samaritan.  Jesus' teaching here stresses that individuals are ethically bound to look out and assist one another in times of need.  The ethical construction here is twofold.  On one hand, Jesus' teachings here seem to indict the passers- by who simply pass by the man in trouble.  Their ethical conduct seems to be in the same arena as the robbers.  The ethical lesson here is that one must look out and care for another in need, regardless of cost and of social perception. Charity is an ethical must for both individuals and society.  This is another ethical lesson established through Jesus' teachings via parable.