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Matthew 5

5
Jesus Teaches the Disciples and Crowds
1When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them.
Blessings
He said,
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
4Blessed are those who mourn,
because they will be comforted.
5Blessed are those who are humble,
because they will inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who are hungry and thirsty for justice,
because they will be fully satisfied.
7Blessed are those who show mercy,
because they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are those who have pure hearts,
because they will see God.
9Blessed are those who make peace,
because they will be called children of God.
10Blessed are those who suffer for the sake of justice,
because the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
11“Blessed are you when, because of me, people insult you and attack you and falsely accuse you of doing all kinds of bad things. 12Rejoice and be glad, because you have a great reward in heaven. You’re being treated just the way people treated the prophets who lived long ago.
Salt and Light
13“You’re the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It’s not good for anything anymore. It has to be thrown out onto the street.
14“You’re the light of the world. A city that’s built on top of a hill can’t be hidden. 15People don’t light a lamp and then put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on a stand so that it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine so that others can see it. Then they’ll see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven.
Fulfilling the Law
17“Don’t think that I’ve come to set aside what’s written in the Law and the Prophets. I haven’t come to do that, but to fulfill what’s written. 18Truly I tell you, heaven and earth will disappear before the smallest letter disappears from the Law. Not even the smallest mark of a pen will disappear until everything the Law says happens. 19So anyone who sets aside one of the least of the commands and teaches others to do the same will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But anyone who practices and teaches the commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20I tell you, unless your righteousness is even better than the righteousness of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you won’t enter the kingdom of heaven.
Murder
21“You’ve heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Don’t commit murder. Anyone who commits murder will answer for it in court.’ 22But I tell you that anyone who loses their temper with a brother or sister will answer for it in court. Anyone who speaks scornfully to a brother or sister will face the council of elders. And anyone who dismisses someone as worthless will be in danger of the fire in hell.
23“Suppose you’re offering your gift at the altar and you remember that your brother or sister has something against you. 24Leave your gift in front of the altar, go and make peace with them, and then come back and offer your gift.
25“Suppose someone has a claim against you and is taking you to court. Settle the matter quickly, while you’re still on the way there together. If you don’t, you may be handed over to the judge, the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26Truly I tell you, then you won’t get out until you’ve paid the very last penny!
Adultery
27“You’ve heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28But I tell you that anyone who looks with lust at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, pull it out and throw it away. It’s better to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It’s better to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
Divorce
31“It has been said, ‘Any man who divorces his wife must give her a letter of divorce.’ 32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife for any reason other than unfaithfulness makes her a victim of adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Promises
33“Again, you’ve heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Don’t break your promises. Keep the promises you make to the Lord.’ 34But I tell you, don’t make any promises like that. Don’t make them in the name of heaven, because that’s God’s throne. 35Don’t make them in the name of the earth, because that’s where God rests his feet. Don’t make them in the name of Jerusalem, because that’s the city of the Great King. 36And don’t guarantee a promise with your own head, because you can’t turn even one hair of your head white or black. 37All you need to say is simply ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Anything more than that comes from the evil one.
Not Taking Revenge
38“You’ve heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I tell you not to retaliate against someone who treats you poorly. Suppose someone slaps you on your right cheek. Then turn your other cheek to them as well. 40Suppose someone takes you to court to get your shirt. Let them have your coat too. 41Suppose someone forces you to go one mile. Go two miles with them. 42If a person asks you for something, give it to them, and if a person wants to borrow something from you, let them borrow it.
Loving Your Enemies
43“You’ve heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor. Hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies, and pray for those who hurt you. 45That way you’ll be the children of your Father who is in heaven. He causes his sun to shine on bad people and good people, and he sends rain on those who do right and those who don’t. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Even the tax collectors do that. 47If you say hello only to your friends, what more are you doing than others? Even people who don’t believe in God do that. 48So be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
5
The sermon on the mount
1When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on the side of a mountain and sat down.#5.1 sat down: Teachers in the ancient world, including Jewish teachers, usually sat down when they taught.
Blessings
(Luke 6.20-23)
Jesus' disciples gathered around him, 2and he taught them:
3God blesses those people
who depend only on him.
They belong to the kingdom
of heaven!#5.3 They belong to the kingdom of heaven: Or “The kingdom of heaven belongs to them.”
4God blesses those people#Is 61.2.
who grieve.
They will find comfort!
5God blesses those people#Ps 37.11.
who are humble.
The earth will belong
to them!
6God blesses those people#Is 55.1,2.
who want to obey him#5.6 who want to obey him: Or “who want to do right” or “who want everyone to be treated right”.
more than to eat or drink.
They will be given
what they want!
7God blesses those people
who are merciful.
They will be treated
with mercy!
8God blesses those people#Ps 24.3,4.
whose hearts are pure.
They will see him!
9God blesses those people
who make peace.
They will be called
his children!
10God blesses those people#1 P 3.14.
who are treated badly
for doing right.
They belong to the kingdom
of heaven.#5.10 They belong to the kingdom of heaven: See the note at 5.3.
11God will bless you when people insult you, ill-treat you, and tell all kinds of evil lies about you because of me.#1 P 4.14. 12Be happy and excited! You will have a great reward in heaven. People did these same things to the prophets who lived long ago.#2 Ch 36.16; Ac 7.52.
Salt and light
(Mark 9.50; Luke 14.34,35)
Jesus continued:
13You are like salt for everyone on earth. But if salt no longer tastes like salt, how can it make food salty? All it is good for is to be thrown out and walked on.#Mk 9.50; Lk 14.34,35.
14You are like light for the whole world. A city built on top of a hill cannot be hidden,#Jn 8.12; 9.5. 15and no one would light a lamp and put it under a clay pot. A lamp is placed on a lampstand, where it can give light to everyone in the house.#Mk 4.21; Lk 8.16; 11.33. 16Make your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven.#1 P 2.12.
The Law of Moses
Jesus continued:
17Don't suppose that I came to do away with the Law and the Prophets.#5.17 the Law and the Prophets: The Jewish Scriptures, that is, the Old Testament. I did not come to do away with them, but to give them their full meaning. 18Heaven and earth may disappear. But I promise you that not even a full stop or comma will ever disappear from the Law. Everything written in it must happen.#Lk 16.17.
19If you reject even the least important command in the Law and teach others to do the same, you will be the least important person in the kingdom of heaven. But if you obey and teach others its commands, you will have an important place in the kingdom. 20You must obey God's commands better than the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law obey them. If you don't, I promise you that you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.
Anger
Jesus continued:
21You know that our ancestors were told, “Do not murder” and “A murderer must be brought to trial.”#Ex 20.13; Dt 5.17. 22But I promise you that if you are angry with someone,#5.22 someone: In verses 22-24 the Greek text has “brother”, which may refer to people in general or to other followers. you will have to stand trial. If you call someone a fool, you will be taken to court. And if you say that someone is worthless, you will be in danger of the fires of hell.
23So if you are about to place your gift on the altar and remember that someone is angry with you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. Make peace with that person, then come back and offer your gift to God.
25Before you are dragged into court, make friends with the person who has accused you of doing wrong. If you don't, you will be handed over to the judge and then to the officer who will put you in jail. 26I promise you that you will not get out until you have paid the last penny you owe.
Marriage
Jesus continued:
27You know the commandment which says, “Be faithful in marriage.”#Ex 20.14; Dt 5.18. 28But I tell you that if you look at another woman and want her, you are already unfaithful in your thoughts. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, poke it out and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body, than for your whole body to end up in hell.#Mt 18.9; Mk 9.47. 30If your right hand causes you to sin, chop it off and throw it away! It is better to lose one part of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.#Mt 18.8; Mk 9.43.
Divorce
(Matthew 19.9; Mark 10.11,12; Luke 16.18)
Jesus continued:
31You have been taught that a man who divorces his wife must write out divorce papers for her.#5.31 write out divorce papers for her: Jewish men could divorce their wives, but the women could not divorce their husbands. The purpose of writing these papers was to make it harder for a man to divorce his wife. Before this law was made, all a man had to do was to send his wife away and say that she was no longer his wife.#Dt 24.1-4; Mt 19.7; Mk 10.4. 32But I tell you not to divorce your wife unless she has committed some terrible sexual sin.#5.32 some terrible sexual sin: This probably refers to the laws about the wrong kinds of marriages that are forbidden in Leviticus or to some serious sexual sin. If you divorce her, you will cause her to be unfaithful, just as any man who marries her is guilty of taking another man's wife.#Mt 19.9; Mk 10.11,12; Lk 16.18; 1 Co 7.10,11.
Promises
Jesus continued:
33You know that our ancestors were told, “Don't use the Lord's name to make a promise unless you are going to keep it.”#Lv 19.12; Nu 30.2; Dt 23.21. 34But I tell you not to swear by anything when you make a promise! Heaven is God's throne, so don't swear by heaven.#Jas 5.12; Is 66.1; Mt 23.22. 35The earth is God's footstool, so don't swear by the earth. Jerusalem is the city of the great king, so don't swear by it.#Is 66.1; Ps 48.2. 36Don't swear by your own head. You cannot make one hair white or black. 37When you make a promise, say only “Yes” or “No”. Anything else comes from the devil.
Revenge
(Luke 6.29,30)
Jesus continued:
38You know that you have been taught, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”#Ex 21.24; Lv 24.20; Dt 19.21. 39But I tell you not to try to get even with a person who has done something to you. When someone slaps your right cheek,#5.39 right cheek: A slap on the right cheek was a bad insult. turn and let that person slap your other cheek. 40If someone sues you for your shirt, give up your coat as well. 41If a soldier forces you to carry his pack one kilometre, carry it two kilometres.#5.41 two kilometres: A Roman soldier had the right to force a person to carry his pack as far as approximately one and a half kilometres. 42When people ask you for something, give it to them. When they want to borrow money, lend it to them.
Love
(Luke 6.27,28,32-36)
Jesus continued:
43You have heard people say, “Love your neighbours and hate your enemies.” 44But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who ill-treats you. 45Then you will be acting like your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong. 46If you love only those people who love you, will God reward you for that? Even tax collectors#5.46 tax collectors: These were usually Jewish people who paid the Romans for the right to collect taxes. They were hated by other Jews who thought of them as traitors to their country and to their religion. love their friends. 47If you greet only your friends, what's so great about that? Don't even unbelievers do that? 48But you must always act like your Father in heaven.#Lv 19.2; Dt 18.13.