Jesus saw the crowds and went up a hill, where he sat down. His disciples gathered around him,
and he began to teach them:
"Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!
"Happy are those who mourn; God will comfort them!
"Happy are those who are humble; they will receive what God has promised!
"Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully!
"Happy are those who are merciful to others; God will be merciful to them!
"Happy are the pure in heart; they will see God!
"Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children!
"Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!
"Happy are you when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of evil lies against you because you are my followers.
Be happy and glad, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven. This is how the prophets who lived before you were persecuted.
"You are like salt for the whole human race. But if salt loses its saltiness, there is no way to make it salty again. It has become worthless, so it is thrown out and people trample on it.
"You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.
No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead it is put on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house.
In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.
"Do not think that I have come to do away with the Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets. I have not come to do away with them, but to make their teachings come true.
Remember that as long as heaven and earth last, not the least point nor the smallest detail of the Law will be done away with - not until the end of all things.
So then, whoever disobeys even the least important of the commandments and teaches others to do the same, will be least in the Kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys the Law and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the Kingdom of heaven.
I tell you, then, that you will be able to enter the Kingdom of heaven only if you are more faithful than the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees in doing what God requires.
"You have heard that people were told in the past, "Do not commit murder; anyone who does will be brought to trial.'
But now I tell you: if you are angry with your brother you will be brought to trial, if you call your brother "You good-for-nothing!' you will be brought before the Council, and if you call your brother a worthless fool you will be in danger of going to the fire of hell.
So if you are about to offer your gift to God at the altar and there you remember that your brother has something against you,
leave your gift there in front of the altar, go at once and make peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift to God.
"If someone brings a lawsuit against you and takes you to court, settle the dispute while there is time, before you get to court. Once you are there, you will be turned over to the judge, who will hand you over to the police, and you will be put in jail.
There you will stay, I tell you, until you pay the last penny of your fine.
"You have heard that it was said, "Do not commit adultery.'
But now I tell you: anyone who looks at a woman and wants to possess her is guilty of committing adultery with her in his heart.
So if your right eye causes you to sin, take it out and throw it away! It is much better for you to lose a part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell.
If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! It is much better for you to lose one of your limbs than to have your whole body go off to hell.
"It was also said, "Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a written notice of divorce.'
But now I tell you: if a man divorces his wife for any cause other than her unfaithfulness, then he is guilty of making her commit adultery if she marries again; and the man who marries her commits adultery also.
"You have also heard that people were told in the past, "Do not break your promise, but do what you have vowed to the Lord to do.'
But now I tell you: do not use any vow when you make a promise. Do not swear by heaven, for it is God's throne;
nor by earth, for it is the resting place for his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
Do not even swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black.
Just say "Yes' or "No' - anything else you say comes from the Evil One.
"You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.'
But now I tell you: do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, let him slap your left cheek too.
And if someone takes you to court to sue you for your shirt, let him have your coat as well.
And if one of the occupation troops forces you to carry his pack one mile, carry it two miles.
When someone asks you for something, give it to him; when someone wants to borrow something, lend it to him.
"You have heard that it was said, "Love your friends, hate your enemies.'
But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
so that you may become the children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil.
Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you? Even the tax collectors do that!
And if you speak only to your friends, have you done anything out of the ordinary? Even the pagans do that!
You must be perfect - just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
"Make certain you do not perform your religious duties in public so that people will see what you do. If you do these things publicly, you will not have any reward from your Father in heaven.
"So when you give something to a needy person, do not make a big show of it, as the hypocrites do in the houses of worship and on the streets. They do it so that people will praise them. I assure you, they have already been paid in full.
But when you help a needy person, do it in such a way that even your closest friend will not know about it.
Then it will be a private matter. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you.
"When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites! They love to stand up and pray in the houses of worship and on the street corners, so that everyone will see them. I assure you, they have already been paid in full.
But when you pray, go to your room, close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you.
"When you pray, do not use a lot of meaningless words, as the pagans do, who think that their gods will hear them because their prayers are long.
Do not be like them. Your Father already knows what you need before you ask him.
This, then, is how you should pray: "Our Father in heaven: May your holy name be honored;
may your Kingdom come; may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need.
Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.
Do not bring us to hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil One.'
"If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.
"And when you fast, do not put on a sad face as the hypocrites do. They neglect their appearance so that everyone will see that they are fasting. I assure you, they have already been paid in full.
When you go without food, wash your face and comb your hair,
so that others cannot know that you are fasting - only your Father, who is unseen, will know. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you.
"Do not store up riches for yourselves here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal.
Instead, store up riches for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal.
For your heart will always be where your riches are.
"The eyes are like a lamp for the body. If your eyes are sound, your whole body will be full of light;
but if your eyes are no good, your body will be in darkness. So if the light in you is darkness, how terribly dark it will be!
"You cannot be a slave of two masters; you will hate one and love the other; you will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
"This is why I tell you: do not be worried about the food and drink you need in order to stay alive, or about clothes for your body. After all, isn't life worth more than food? And isn't the body worth more than clothes?
Look at the birds: they do not plant seeds, gather a harvest and put it in barns; yet your Father in heaven takes care of them! Aren't you worth much more than birds?
Can any of you live a bit longer by worrying about it?
"And why worry about clothes? Look how the wild flowers grow: they do not work or make clothes for themselves.
But I tell you that not even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes as beautiful as one of these flowers.
It is God who clothes the wild grass - grass that is here today and gone tomorrow, burned up in the oven. Won't he be all the more sure to clothe you? What little faith you have!
"So do not start worrying: "Where will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes?'
(These are the things the pagans are always concerned about.) Your Father in heaven knows that you need all these things.
Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things.
So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings.
"Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you,
for God will judge you in the same way you judge others, and he will apply to you the same rules you apply to others.
Why, then, do you look at the speck in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the log in your own eye?
How dare you say to your brother, "Please, let me take that speck out of your eye,' when you have a log in your own eye?
You hypocrite! First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will be able to see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.
"Do not give what is holy to dogs - they will only turn and attack you. Do not throw your pearls in front of pigs - they will only trample them underfoot.
"Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to those who knock.
Would any of you who are fathers give your son a stone when he asks for bread?
Or would you give him a snake when he asks for a fish?
As bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then, will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
"Do for others what you want them to do for you: this is the meaning of the Law of Moses and of the teachings of the prophets.
"Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it.
But the gate to life is narrow and the way that leads to it is hard, and there are few people who find it.
"Be on your guard against false prophets; they come to you looking like sheep on the outside, but on the inside they are really like wild wolves.
You will know them by what they do. Thorn bushes do not bear grapes, and briers do not bear figs.
A healthy tree bears good fruit, but a poor tree bears bad fruit.
A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a poor tree cannot bear good fruit.
And any tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire.
So then, you will know the false prophets by what they do.
"Not everyone who calls me "Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only those who do what my Father in heaven wants them to do.
When the Judgment Day comes, many will say to me, "Lord, Lord! In your name we spoke God's message, by your name we drove out many demons and performed many miracles!'
Then I will say to them, "I never knew you. Get away from me, you wicked people!'
"So then, anyone who hears these words of mine and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain poured down, the rivers flooded over, and the wind blew hard against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock.
"But anyone who hears these words of mine and does not obey them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
The rain poured down, the rivers flooded over, the wind blew hard against that house, and it fell. And what a terrible fall that was!"
When Jesus finished saying these things, the crowd was amazed at the way he taught.
He wasn't like the teachers of the Law; instead, he taught with authority.