One day as the crowds were gathering, Jesus went up the mountainside with his disciples and sat down to teach them.
This is what he taught them:
3"God blesses those who realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them.4God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5God blesses those who are gentle and lowly, for the whole earth will belong to them. 6God blesses those who are hungry and thirsty for justice, for they will receive it in full. 7God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. 9God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. 10God blesses those who are persecuted because they live for God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. "
11"God blesses you when you are mocked and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers. 12Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted, too."
13"You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it useful again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. 14You are the light of the world -- like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. 15Don't hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. 16In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father."
17"Don't misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to fulfill them. 18I assure you, until heaven and earth disappear, even the smallest detail of God's law will remain until its purpose is achieved. 19So if you break the smallest commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God's laws and teaches them will be great in the Kingdom of Heaven."
20"But I warn you -- unless you obey God better than the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees do, you can't enter the Kingdom of Heaven at all!"
21"You have heard that the law of Moses says, 'Do not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.' 22But I say, if you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the high council. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell."
23"So if you are standing before the altar in the Temple, offering a sacrifice to God, and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24leave your sacrifice there beside the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. 25Come to terms quickly with your enemy before it is too late and you are dragged into court, handed over to an officer, and thrown in jail. 26I assure you that you won't be free again until you have paid the last penny."
27"You have heard that the law of Moses says, 'Do not commit adultery.' 28But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29So if your eye -- even if it is your good eye -- causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your hand -- even if it is your stronger hand -- causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell."
31"You have heard that the law of Moses says, 'A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a letter of divorce.' 32But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery."
33"Again, you have heard that the law of Moses says, 'Do not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.' 34But I say, don't make any vows! If you say, 'By heaven!' it is a sacred vow because heaven is God's throne. 35And if you say, 'By the earth!' it is a sacred vow because the earth is his footstool. And don't swear, 'By Jerusalem!' for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. 36Don't even swear, 'By my head!' for you can't turn one hair white or black. 37Just say a simple, 'Yes, I will,' or 'No, I won't.' Your word is enough. To strengthen your promise with a vow shows that something is wrong. "
38"You have heard that the law of Moses says, 'If an eye is injured, injure the eye of the person who did it. If a tooth gets knocked out, knock out the tooth of the person who did it.' 39But I say, don't resist an evil person! If you are slapped on the right cheek, turn the other, too. 40If you are ordered to court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. 41If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. 42Give to those who ask, and don't turn away from those who want to borrow."
43"You have heard that the law of Moses says, 'Love your neighbor' and hate your enemy. 44But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too. 46If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect."
1"Take care! Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, because then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2When you give a gift to someone in need, don't shout about it as the hypocrites do -- blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I assure you, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3But when you give to someone, don't tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. 4Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you."
5"And now about prayer. When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. 6But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you."
7"When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again. 8Don't be like them, because your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! 9Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored. 10May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven. 11Give us our food for today, 12and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. 13And don't let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. "
14"If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins."
16"And when you fast, don't make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, who try to look pale and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I assure you, that is the only reward they will ever get. 17But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18Then no one will suspect you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in secret. And your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you."
19"Don't store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. 20Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. 21Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be."
22"Your eye is a lamp for your body. A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul. 23But an evil eye shuts out the light and plunges you into darkness. If the light you think you have is really darkness, how deep that darkness will be!"
24"No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."
25"So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life -- whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing? 26Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. 27Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not."
28"And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, 29yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you? You have so little faith!"
31"So don't worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. 32Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, 33and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern."
34"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today."
1"Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. 2For others will treat you as you treat them. Whatever measure you use in judging others, it will be used to measure how you are judged. 3And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own? 4How can you think of saying, 'Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,' when you can't see past the log in your own eye? 5Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye."
6"Don't give what is holy to unholy people. Don't give pearls to swine! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you."
7"Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. 8For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks. 9You parents -- if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him."
12"Do for others what you would like them to do for you. This is a summary of all that is taught in the law and the prophets."
13"You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. 14But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it."
15"Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep, but are really wolves that will tear you apart. 16You can detect them by the way they act, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit. You don't pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles. 17A healthy tree produces good fruit, and an unhealthy tree produces bad fruit. 18A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit. 19So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit that is produced."
21"Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as 'Lord,' but they still won't enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. 22On judgment day many will tell me, 'Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.' 23But I will reply, 'I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.'"
24"Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse, because it is built on rock. 26But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will fall with a mighty crash."28
After Jesus finished speaking, the crowds were amazed at his teaching,
for he taught as one who had real authority -- quite unlike the teachers of religious law.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)