The Sermon on the Mount
Now observing those crowds, He ascended the hill; and seating Himself, His disciples approached Him.
Then having opened His mouth, He addressed them as follows:
"Blessed are the gentle in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
"Blessed are the sufferers; for they shall be comforted.
"Blessed are the kind-hearted; for they shall inherit the earth.
"Blessed are the hungering and thirsting for righteousness; for they shall be satisfied.
"Blessed are the merciful; for they shall secure mercy.
"Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God Himself.
"Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be declared God's own sons.
"Blessed are the persecuted on account of righteousness; because the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
"You are blessed whenever they curse and persecute you, and say every vile thing against you, falsely, because of Me. Be glad and delighted! because your reward in heaven will be great; for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt should lose its strength, with what can itself be salted? It is then good for nothing, but to be flung out and trodden under foot by mankind.
"You are the light of the world. A town built upon a hill cannot be concealed. A lamp is never lighted and placed under a corn measure, but upon the lampstand; and it gives light to all those in the house. Thus let your light shine in the presence of mankind; so that they may see your good conduct, and praise your Father Who is in heaven.
"Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have not come to abolish, but to complete them. For I tell you indeed, that until the heavens and the earth shall pass away, a single dot or hairstroke shall not disappear from the law, until all has been completed. If, therefore, any one shall make light of one of the least of its commands, and shall teach men so, he shall be declared the least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever teaches them and acts up to them, he shall be great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I tell you that if your righteousness does not surpass that of the professors and Pharisees, you can by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Law Explained
"You have heard that it was said by the ancients, You shall not murder; and if a man should murder, he would be liable to punishment. But I tell you, that every man quarrelling with his brother will be liable to punishment; and if he should call his brother 'Scoundrel,' he will be liable to the High Court of Justice; and whoever shall call his brother 'Rebel,' will be liable to the branding by fire. Therefore, even if you have carried your offering up to the altar, and you should there discover that your brother has suffered any wrong by you, leave your offering even before the altar, and go away; first be reconciled to your brother, and then returning, present your offering.
"Make friends with your accuser quickly, even while you are in his company; for your accuser may drag you before the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and he in turn may take you to prison. I tell you indeed, that you will not depart until you have repaid the very last farthing.
"You have heard it said that you shall not commit adultery. But I tell you that every one who looks lewdly upon a woman has already committed adultery with her in his own heart. "If, therefore, your right eye leads you to sin, tear it out and throw it from you; for it will be profitable to you to destroy one of your members, rather than that your whole body should perish in the Pit. And if your right hand leads you to sin, cut it off and throw it from you; for it will be profitable for you to destroy one of your limbs, rather than that your whole body should perish in the Pit.
"It has also been decreed that if any one would dismiss his wife, let him have her divorced. But I tell you that if any one divorces his wife, except on account of fornication, he represents her to be an adulteress; [and if any one marries her when she has been divorced, he commits adultery.]
"Again, you have heard it was decreed to the ancients, that you shall not perjure yourselves, but give up your vow to the Lord. But I tell you in short, Do not vow at all: not by heaven, for that is the throne of God; nor by the earth, because that is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for that is the city of the great King. Neither vow by your head, because you are not able to make a single hair white or black. But let your language be 'Yes, yes'; 'No, no': for whatever exceeds these proceeds from evil.
"You have heard that it was enacted, Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I tell you, Do not contend with the wicked; but whoever strikes you upon your right cheek, then turn the other to him as well. And whoever drags you to law, and takes your vest, let him have your cloak as well. And whoever forces you to go with him one mile, then go two. Give to the man who begs from you; and do not turn away from the one wishing to borrow from you.
"You have heard it was commanded that you should love your neighbour, and hate your enemy. But I tell you to love your enemies; bless those who curse you; act generously to those who hate you; and pray for those who ill-use and persecute you: then you will become the sons of your Father Who is in heaven; for He raises His sun over both bad and good, and rains upon both just and unjust. For if you should merely be friendly with your friends, what reward have you? Is not the same thing done even by the extortioners? And if you salute your associates only, is that anything to be proud of? for is not that done even by the extortioners? You, however, should be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Transcribed by Mark Hicks on 12-29-2014