Jesus Teaches the People
1When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a hill and sat down. His followers came to him, 2and he began to teach them, saying:
3“They are blessed who realize their spiritual poverty,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
4They are blessed who grieve,
for God will comfort them.
5They are blessed who are humble,
for the whole earth will be theirs.
6They are blessed who hunger and thirst after justice,
for they will be satisfied.
7They are blessed who show mercy to others,
for God will show mercy to them.
8They are blessed whose thoughts are pure,
for they will see God.
9They are blessed who work for peace,
for they will be called God’s children.
10They are blessed who are persecuted for doing good,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
11“People will insult you and hurt you. They will lie and say all kinds of evil things about you because you follow me. But when they do, you will be blessed. 12Rejoice and be glad, because you have a great reward waiting for you in heaven. People did the same evil things to the prophets who lived before you.
You Are Like Salt and Light
13“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its salty taste, it cannot be made salty again. It is good for nothing, except to be thrown out and walked on.
14“You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden.15And people don’t hide a light under a bowl. They put it on a lampstand so the light shines for all the people in the house. 16In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven.
The Importance of the Law
17“Don’t think that I have come to destroy the law of Moses or the teaching of the prophets. I have not come to destroy them but to bring about what they said. 18I tell you the truth, nothing will disappear from the law until heaven and earth are gone. Not even the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will be lost until everything has happened. 19Whoever refuses to obey any command and teaches other people not to obey that command will be the least important in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys the commands and teaches other people to obey them will be great in the kingdom of heaven. 20I tell you that if you are no more obedient than the teachers of the law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus Teaches About Anger
21“You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, ‘You must not murder anyone. Anyone who murders another will be judged.’ 22But I tell you, if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be judged. If you say bad things to a brother or sister, you will be judged by the council. And if you call someone a fool, you will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23“So when you offer your gift to God at the altar, and you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24leave your gift there at the altar. Go and make peace with that person, and then come and offer your gift.
25“If your enemy is taking you to court, become friends quickly, before you go to court. Otherwise, your enemy might turn you over to the judge, and the judge might give you to a guard to put you in jail. 26I tell you the truth, you will not leave there until you have paid everything you owe.
Jesus Teaches About Sexual Sin
27“You have heard that it was said, ‘You must not be guilty of adultery.’ 28But I tell you that if anyone looks at a woman and wants to sin sexually with her, in his mind he has already done that sin with the woman. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, take it out and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell. 30If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
Jesus Teaches About Divorce
31“It was also said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a written divorce paper.’ 32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife forces her to be guilty of adultery. The only reason for a man to divorce his wife is if she has sexual relations with another man. And anyone who marries that divorced woman is guilty of adultery.
Make Promises Carefully
33“You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, ‘Don’t break your promises, but keep the promises you make to the Lord.’ 34But I tell you, never swear an oath. Don’t swear an oath using the name of heaven, because heaven is God’s throne. 35Don’t swear an oath using the name of the earth, because the earth belongs to God. Don’t swear an oath using the name of Jerusalem, because that is the city of the great King. 36Don’t even swear by your own head, because you cannot make one hair on your head become white or black. 37Say only yes if you mean yes, and no if you mean no. If you say more than yes or no, it is from the Evil One.
Don’t Fight Back
38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I tell you, don’t stand up against an evil person. If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other cheek also. 40If someone wants to sue you in court and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41If someone forces you to go with him one mile, go with him two miles. 42If a person asks you for something, give it to him. Don’t refuse to give to someone who wants to borrow from you.
Love All People
43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemies.’ 44But I say to you, love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. 45If you do this, you will be true children of your Father in heaven. He causes the sun to rise on good people and on evil people, and he sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong. 46If you love only the people who love you, you will get no reward. Even the tax collectors do that. 47And if you are nice only to your friends, you are no better than other people. Even those who don’t know God are nice to their friends. 48So you must be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.