The Teachings of Jesus
1 Happy are those who are gentle and humble.
Happy are those who are hungry and thirsty for justice.
Happy are those who are merciful.
Happy are those whose hearts are pure.
Happy are those who work for peace.
2 You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world – like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a cover! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way let your good deeds shine out for all to see.
3 You have heard that the law of Moses says, “Do not murder.” But I say, do not be angry with others. If you remember that someone has something against you, leave what you’re doing and go be reconciled to that person.
4 You have heard that the law of Moses says, “If someone injures your eye, injure theirs in return. If a tooth gets knocked out, knock theirs out in return.” But I say, don’t resist an evil person! If you are slapped on the right cheek, turn the other, too.
5 Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.
6 You have heard that the law of Moses says, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you. If you love only those who love you, what good is that? If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?
7 Take care! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired but do them in a sincere manner.
8 Stop judging others and you will not be judged. For others will treat you as you treat them. Why worry about the speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, “Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,” when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
9 Do for others what you would like them to do for you. This is the summary of all that is taught in the law of Moses and by the prophets.
10 Beware of those who come to divide. You can detect them by the way that they act, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit. A healthy tree produces good fruit, and an unhealthy tree produces bad fruit. Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit that is produced. Not all people who sound religious are really godly.
11 Why do the teachers of religious law, by their traditions, violate the commandments? For instance, the commandments says, “Honor your father and mother.” But they say “You don’t need to honor your parents by caring for their needs if you give the money to God instead.” And so, by their own tradition, they nullify the commandments.
12 Listen to what I say and try to understand. You are not defiled by what you eat; you are defiled by what you say and do. Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes out of the body. But evil words come from and evil heart and defile the person who says them. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, theft, lying, and slander. These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands could never defile you and make you unacceptable to God!
13 If someone sins against you, go privately and discuss it. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won the person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again.
14 Forgive others seventy times seven.
15 You know that in this world there are tyrants and officials lord it over the people beneath them. But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant. I came here not to be served but to serve others.
16 You must love God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the other commandments and teachings of the prophets are based on these two commandments.
17 The teachers of religious law crush you with impossible religious demands and never lift a finger to help ease the burden. They enjoy the attention. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
18 How terrible it is for the teachers of religious law that are careful to tithe on even the tiniest part of their income but they ignore the important things- justice, mercy, and faith. They strain water so they won’t accidentally swallow a gnat; then swallow a camel.
19 How terrible it is for the teachers of religious law that are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside they are filthy – full of greed and self-indulgence! They try to look like upright people outwardly, but inside their hearts are filled with hypocrisy. They need to learn the meaning of this Scripture, “I want you to be merciful; I don’t want your sacrifices.”
20 In the end, you will be rewarded by God who will say to you “I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.” Remember, those who refuse to help the least of these, are refusing to help God.
(taken from Matthew)