Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill and sat down, and his followers came to him. 2Then he taught them: 3“The poor in spirit are blessed because Heaven’s Empire is theirs. 4The mourning are blessed because they’ll be comforted. 5The gentle are blessed because they’ll inherit the land. 6Those who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness are blessed because they’ll be satisfied. 7The merciful are blessed because they’ll see mercy. 8The clean-hearted are blessed because they’ll see God. 9The peacemakers are blessed because they’ll be called God’s sons. 10Those who are persecuted on account of righteousness are blessed because Heaven’s Empire is theirs.
11“Y’all are blessed when everyone else in the world hates you, persecutes you, and says all kinds of evil lies against you because of me. 12Celebrate and be happy! You all have a great treasure in Heaven. After all, they persecuted the prophets that came before you. 13You all are the salt of the earth, but if the salt isn’t salty any more, what can be used to season it? It isn’t good for anything but to be thrown out in the street and let everyone walk on it. 14Y’all are the light of the world. You can’t hide a city on a hill, 15and no one puts a lamp under a shade, but on a lampstand so that it shines on everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine in front of everyone, so that they can see your good works and give your Heavenly Father the glory.
17“Don’t think that I’ve come to destroy the Law and the Prophets. 18Listen to me, till heaven and earth are gone, not one iota or even one stroke of the Law will be done away with until everything has been finished. 19Whoever breaks even the smallest commandment, and teaches others to do so, will be called the smallest in Heaven’s Empire. And whoever follows the commandments, and teaches other to follow, too, will be called greatest in Heaven’s Empire. 20Listen to me now, if you aren’t more righteous than the scholars and the Pharisees, then you won’t get into Heaven’s Empire.
21“Y’all have heard that the ancients were told, ‘Don’t murder,’ and, ‘whoever murders will be put on trial.’ 22Well, I say to you anyone who’s angry with his brother will be put on trial. Whoever cusses out his brother will have to face the council. And whoever calls his brother, ‘Dumbass,’ will face hell fire. 23So, if you go to the alter to make your offering, and then remember that your brother is mad at you for something, 24leave your offering there and find your brother and make amends with him, then come back and make your offering. 25Make sure you straighten things out with your enemy while you’re on the way to court with him, otherwise, he might hand you over to the judge, the judge will hand you over to the bailiff, and you’ll be thrown into jail. 26Yes, I tell you, you won’t get out of there till you’ve paid every last dime.
27“You’ve all heard that it was said, ‘Don’t commit adultery.’ 28Well, I say anyone who even looks at a woman in lust has already committed adultery in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away. It’s better for you if just a part of you is destroyed rather than have your whole body thrown into hell fire. 30If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It’s better for you if just a part of you is destroyed than your whole body be thrown into hell fire.
31“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife should give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32But I say, whoever divorces his wife, unless she cheated on him, forces her to commit adultery. And anyone who divorces his wife and then marries another commits adultery.
33“Again, you’ve all heard that the ancients were told, ‘Don’t lie when you’ve sworn to tell the truth, but you will do what you’ve sworn to the Lord to do.’ 34But I say, don’t swear at all. Not by Heaven because it’s God’s throne. 35Not by the earth because it’s God’s footstool. Not by Jerusalem because it’s the great King’s city. 36Don’t even swear by your own head because y’all can’t make a single hair white or black. 37Instead say, ‘Yes, yes,’ or, ‘No, no.’ Anything else comes from evil.
38“You’ve all heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I say, don’t fight back against evil. If someone slaps you on your right cheek, then turn the other cheek to him. 40If someone sues you for your shirt, then give him the rest of your clothes, too. 41If someone forces you to walk a mile, then walk two miles with him. 42If someone asks you for something, give it to him. If someone wants to borrow something from you, don’t turn him away.
43“Y’all have heard it said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you all, love your enemy. Pray for your persecutors. 45This way, y’all can become your Heavenly Father’s sons. After all, His sun rises on the bad and the good. It rains on the righteous and the unrighteous people. 46If y’all only love the people who love you back, what’s your prize? Don’t the tax men do the same thing? 47And if y’all say ‘Hi!’ only to your brothers, how are you doing more? Don’t the gentiles do the same thing? 48So be perfect, just as your Heavenly Father is perfect.
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