3“Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor;
the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!
4Happy are those who mourn;
God will comfort them!
5Happy are those who are humble;
they will receive what God has promised!
6Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires;
God will satisfy them fully!
7Happy are those who are merciful to others;
God will be merciful to them!
8Happy are the pure in heart;
they will see God!
9Happy are those who work for peace;
God will call them his children!
10Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires;
the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!
11“Happy are you when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of evil lies against you because you are my followers.12Be happy and glad, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven. This is how the prophets who lived before you were persecuted.
13“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.
14“You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden.15No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead he puts it on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house.16In 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.
Teaching about the Law
17“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.18Remember 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.19So 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.20I 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.
21“You have heard that people were told in the past, ‘Do not commit murder; anyone who does will be brought to trial.’22But now I tell you: whoever is angrywith his brother will be brought to trial, whoever calls his brother ‘You good-for-nothing!’ will be brought before the Council, and whoever calls his brother a worthless fool will be in danger of going to the fire of hell.23So if you are about to offer your gift to God at the altar and there you remember that your brother has something against you,24leave 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.
25“If someone brings a lawsuit against you and takes you to court, settle the dispute with him while there is time, before you get to court. Once you are there, he will hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to the police, and you will be put in jail.26There you will stay, I tell you, until you pay the last penny of your fine.
Teaching about Adultery
27“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’28But 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.29So 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.30If 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 for your whole body to go to hell.
31“It was also said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a written notice of divorce.’32But 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.
Teaching about Vows
33“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.’34But 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;35nor by earth, for it is the resting place for his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.36Do not even swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black.37Just say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ — anything else you say comes from the Evil One.
38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’39But 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.40And if someone takes you to court to sue you for your shirt, let him have your coat as well.41And if one of the occupation troops forces you to carry his pack one kilometre, carry it two kilometres.42When someone asks you for something, give it to him; when someone wants to borrow something, lend it to him.
43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your friends, hate your enemies.’44But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,45so 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.46Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you? Even the tax collectors do that!47And if you speak only to your friends, have you done anything out of the ordinary? Even the pagans do that!48You must be perfect — just as your Father in heaven is perfect!
Teaching about Charity
1“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.
2“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.3But when you help a needy person, do it in such a way that even your closest friend will not know about it.4Then it will be a private matter. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you.
5“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.6But 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.
7“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.8Do not be like them. Your Father already knows what you need before you ask him.9This, then, is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven:
May your holy name be honoured;
10may your Kingdom come;
may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us today the food we need.
12Forgive us the wrongs we have done,
as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.
13Do not bring us to hard testing,
but keep us safe from the Evil One.’
14“If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you.15But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.
Teaching about Fasting
16“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.17When you go without food, wash your face and comb your hair,18so 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.
19“Do not store up riches for yourselves here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal.20Instead, store up riches for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal.21For your heart will always be where your riches are.
22“The eyes are like a lamp for the body. If your eyes are sound, your whole body will be full of light;23but 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!
24“No one can be a slave of two masters; he will hate one and love the other; he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
25“This is why I tell you not to 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?26Look at the birds: they do not sow 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?27Can any of you live a bit longerby worrying about it?
28“And why worry about clothes? Look how the wild flowers grow: they do not work or make clothes for themselves.29But I tell you that not even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes as beautiful as one of these flowers.30It is God who clothes the wild grass — grass that is here today and gone tomorrow, burnt up in the oven. Won't he be all the more sure to clothe you? How little faith you have!
31“So do not start worrying: ‘Where will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes?’32(These are the things the pagans are always concerned about.) Your Father in heaven knows that you need all these things.33Instead, 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.34So 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.