Introduction to the
Sermon on the Mount
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up
on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and
he began to teach them.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted
because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people insult you,
persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you
because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your
reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the
prophets who were before you.
Salt and Light
“You are the salt of the earth. But if
the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?
It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and
“You are the light of the world. A town
built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a
lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its
stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the
same way, let your light shine before others, that they may
see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
The Fulfillment of
“Do not think that I have come to abolish
the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but
to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth
disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a
pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything
is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the
least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be
called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices
and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom
of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness
surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law,
you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
“You have heard that it was said to the
people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,
and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I
tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister
will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone
who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’
is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’
will be in danger of the fire of hell.
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift
at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister
has something against you, leave your gift there in front of
the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and
offer your gift.
“Settle matters quickly with your
adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are
still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over
to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer,
and you may be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will
not get out until you have paid the last penny.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You
shall not commit adultery.’
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has
already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your
right eye causes you to stumble, 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. And if your right
hand causes you to stumble, 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 go into hell.
“It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces
his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’
But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for
sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and
anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
“Again, you have heard that it was said
to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill
to the Lord the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, do not
swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s
throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by
Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not
swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or
black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything
beyond this comes from the evil one.
Eye for Eye
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye
for eye, and tooth for tooth.’
But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps
you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And
if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your
coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with
them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn
away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love
and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and
pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of
your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil
and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the
unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will
you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if
you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than
others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as
your heavenly Father is perfect.