When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a hill and sat down. His followers came to him,
and he began to teach them, saying:
"Those people who know they have great spiritual needs are happy, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
Those who are sad now are happy, because God will comfort them.
Those who are humble are happy, because the earth will belong to them.
Those who want to do right more than anything else are happy, because God will fully satisfy them.
Those who show mercy to others are happy, because God will show mercy to them.
Those who are pure in their thinking are happy, because they will be with God.
Those who work to bring peace are happy, because God will call them his children.
Those who are treated badly for doing good are happy, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
"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 happy.
Rejoice 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 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.
"You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden.
And 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.
In 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.
"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.
I 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.
Whoever 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.
I 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.
"You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, 'You must not murder anyone. Anyone who murders another will be judged.'
But 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.
"So when you offer your gift to God at the altar, and you remember that your brother or sister has something against you,
leave your gift there at the altar. Go and make peace with that person, and then come and offer your gift.
"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.
I tell you the truth, you will not leave there until you have paid everything you owe.
"You have heard that it was said, 'You must not be guilty of adultery.'
But 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.
If 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.
If 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.
"It was also said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a written divorce paper.'
But 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.
"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.'
But I tell you, never swear an oath. Don't swear an oath using the name of heaven, because heaven is God's throne.
Don'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.
Don't even swear by your own head, because you cannot make one hair on your head become white or black.
Say 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.
"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.'
But 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.
If someone wants to sue you in court and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.
If someone forces you to go with him one mile, go with him two miles.
If a person asks you for something, give it to him. Don't refuse to give to someone who wants to borrow from you.
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighborn and hate your enemies.'
But I say to you, love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you.
If 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.
If you love only the people who love you, you will get no reward. Even the tax collectors do that.
And 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.
So you must be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.