When Jesus saw the crowds following him he went up a mountain. There he sat down together with his disciples. He began teaching them, saying:
Blessed are those who recognize they are spiritually poor, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are those who are kind* for they will own the whole world. Blessed are those whose greatest desire is to do what is right, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are those who have pure minds, for they will see God. Blessed are those who work to bring peace, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those persecuted for what is right, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. 11 Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and accuse you of all kinds of evil things because of me. 12 Be glad, be really glad, for you will receive a great reward in heavenfor they persecuted the prophets who came before you in just the same way.
13 You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt becomes tasteless, how can you make it salty again? It's good for nothing, so it's thrown out and trodden down. 14 You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill can't be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a bucket. No, it's placed on a lamp-stand and it provides light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way you should let your light shine before everyone so they can see the good things you do and praise your heavenly Father.
17 Don't think I came to abolish the law or the writings of the prophets. I didn't come to abolish them, but to fulfill them. 18 I assure you, until heaven and earth come to an end, not a single letter, not a single dot of the law will come to an end before everything is fulfilled. 19 So whoever disregards§ the least important commandment, and teaches people to do so, will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever practices and teaches the commandments will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 I tell you, unless your moral rightness* is more than that of the religious teachers and the Pharisees, you can never enter the kingdom of heaven.
21 You've heard that the law said to the people of long ago: ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who commits murder will be condemned as guilty.’ 22 But I tell you, anyone who is angry with his brother will be condemned as guilty. Whoever calls his brother an idiot has to answer to the council,§ but whoever verbally abuses others is liable to the fire of judgment.* 23 If you're at the altar making an offering, and remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering on the altar and go and make peace with him first, and afterwards come back and make your offering. 25 While you're on the way to court with your opponent, make sure you settle things quickly. Otherwise your opponent might hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the court official, and you will be thrown into jail. 26 I tell you the truth: you won't get out of there until you've paid every last penny.
27 You've heard that the law said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that everyone who looks lustfully at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his mind. 29 If your right eye leads you to sin, then tear it out and throw it away, because it's better to lose one part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into the fire of judgment. 30 If your right hand leads you to sin, then cut it off and throw it away, for it's better for you to lose one of your limbs than for your whole body to go into the fire of judgment.
31 The law also said, ‘If a man divorces his wife, he should give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that any man who divorces his wife except for sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33 And again, you've heard that the law said to the people of long ago, ‘You shall not perjure yourself. Instead make sure you keep the oaths you swear to the Lord.’§ 34 But I tell you, don't swear at all. Don't swear by heaven, because it's the throne of God. 35 Don't swear by the earth, because it's God's footstool. Don't swear by Jerusalem, because it's the city of the great King. 36 Don't even swear by your head, because you're not able to make a single hair white or black. 37 Simply say yes or nomore than this comes from the evil one.
38 You've heard that the law said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’* 39 But I tell you, don't resist someone who is evil. If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other cheek to them as well. 40 If someone wants to sue you in court and takes your shirt, give them your coat too. 41 If someone demands that you go one mile, go with them two. 42 Give to those who ask you, and don't turn away those who want to borrow from you. 43 You've heard that the law said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’§ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so you may become children of your heavenly Father. For his sun shines on both the good and the bad; and he makes the rain fall on both those who do right and those who do wrong. 46 For if you only love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don't even the tax-collectors do that? 47 If you only speak kindly to your family, what more are you doing than anyone else? Even the heathen* do that! 48 Grow up and become completely trustworthy, just as your heavenly Father is trustworthy.
* 5:5 Meaning meek, mild tempered. 5:6 Literally, “those who are hungry and thirsty.” 5:13 Or “useless.” § 5:19 Or “invalidates.” * 5:20 “Moral rightness”: Literally, “righteousness.” However, this term is little used in general non-church language and so in this translation it is replaced with phrases such as “those who live right” or “those who do good/right” etc. This is more than being correct, it means living a life that is morally right. 5:21 Literally, “You've heard that it was said.” This phrase is used often in this passage by Jesus to refer to the laws found in the Old Testament. 5:21 Or “liable to judgment.” Exodus 20:13 or Deuteronomy 5:17. § 5:22 Probably the Sanhedrin council. * 5:22 The word here is literally, “Gehenna,” sometimes translated “hell” or “hellfire.” Gehenna was the place outside of Jerusalem where fires were lit to dispose of rubbish by burning. However, “hell” is a concept that is derived from Nordic and Anglo-Saxon mythology and does not parallel the idea here. 5:27 Quoting Exodus 20:14 or Deuteronomy 5:18. 5:31 Quoting Deuteronomy 24:1. § 5:33 Quoting Numbers 30:2. * 5:38 Quoting Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20; Deuteronomy 19:21. 5:40 The coat was a much more valuable article of clothing. 5:41 Probably referring to a Roman soldier demanding his belongings be carried for him. § 5:43 Quoting Leviticus 19:18. * 5:47 Literally, “nations,” or “Gentiles.” A common term used in the New Testament to identify non-Jews, those regarded as not following the true God. 5:48 Literally, “perfect, complete, undivided, whole, mature.” The idea here is of a way of life totally dedicated to God rather than focusing on some abstract concept of perfection. The focus is on spiritual maturity which translates into being someone dependable, someone who can always be trusted.