Matthew 5 – You are the Salt of the Earth – The Gospels

Read Gospel of MatthewOn seeing the crowds of people, Jesus went up the hill; and when he had taken his seat, his disciples came up to him; 2 And he began to teach them as follows: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are the mourners, for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall find mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called Sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who have been persecuted in the cause of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when people taunt you, and persecute you, and say everything evil about you, untruly, and on my account.”

12 “Be glad and rejoice, because your reward in heaven will be great; as it was for the persecuted prophets who lived before you. 13 You are the salt of the earth; but, if the salt should lose its strength, what will you use to restore its saltiness? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown away and trampled underfoot.”

14 “It is you who are the light of the world. A town that stands on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 A lamp is not lighted and then put under a blanket, but on a lamp–stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before the eyes of your friends and neighbors, that seeing your good actions they may praise your Father who is in heaven.”

17 “Do not think that I have come to do away with the law or the prophets; I have not come to do away with them, but to complete them.1 18 For I tell you, until heaven and the earth disappear, not even the smallest letter, nor one stroke of a letter, shall disappear from the law until all is fulfilled.”

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19 “Whoever, therefore, breaks one of these commandments, even the least of them, and teaches others to do so, will be the least–esteemed in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps them, and teaches others to do so, will be esteemed great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 Indeed I tell you that unless your religion is above that of the teachers of the law and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

21 “You have heard that to our ancestors it was said: ‘Thou shall not commit murder,’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be in danger of the judgment’. 22 I, however, say to you that all who cherish anger against their brother or sister shall be in danger of the judgment; and whoever pours contempt upon them shall be in danger of the council; but whoever calls them a fool shall be in danger of the fiery pit.”

23 “Therefore, when presenting your gift at the altar, if even there you remember that your brother or sister has some grievance against you, 24 Leave your gift there (before the altar) and go and be reconciled to them first, then come and present your gift. 25 Be ready to make friends with your opponents, even when you meet them on your way to the court; for fear that they should hand you over to the judge, and the judge to his officer, and you should be thrown into prison. 26 I tell you, you will not come out until you have paid the last penny.”

27 “You have heard that it was said: ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery.’ 28 I, however, say to you that anyone who looks at another to lust after them has already committed adultery with their hearts.2 29 If your right eye is a snare to you, take it out and throw it away. It would be best for you to lose one part of your body, and not to have the whole of it thrown into the pit. 30 And, if your right hand is a snare to you, cut it off and throw it away. It would be best for you to lose one part of your body, and not to have the whole of it go down to the pit.”

31 “It was also said: ‘Let anyone who divorces his wife serve her with a notice of separation.’ 32 I, however, say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the grounds of unchastity, leads to her committing adultery; while anyone who marries her after her divorce is guilty of adultery.”

33 “Again, you have heard that to our ancestors it was said: ‘Thou shalt not break an oath, but thou shall keep thine oaths as a debt due to the Lord.’ 34 I, however, say to you that you must not swear at all: either by heaven, since that is God’s throne, 35 or by the earth, since that is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, since that is the city of the great king. 36 Nor should you swear by your head, since you cannot make a single hair either white or black. 37 Let your words be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from what is evil.”

38 “You have heard that it was said: ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 I, however, say to you that you must not resist wrongs; but, if others should strike you on the right cheek, turn the other to them also; 40 And, when people want to go to law with you to take your coat, let them have your cloak as well; 41 And, if anyone compels you to go one mile, go two miles with them.3 42 Give to those who ask of you; and, from those who want to borrow from you, do not turn away.”

43 “You have heard that it was said: ‘Thou shall love thy neighbor and hate thy enemy.’ 44 I, however, say to you: love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, 45 That you may become Sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he causes his sun to rise upon bad and good alike, and sends rain upon the righteous and upon the unrighteous. 46 For, if you love only those who love you, what reward will you have? Even the tax–gatherers do this! 47 And, if you show courtesy to your friends only, what are you doing more than others? Even the Gentiles do this!”

48 “You, then, must become perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”4

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To read Chapter 6 of the Gospel of Matthew, please go to: The Lord’s Prayer Matthew.

  1. Read an explanation of this passage from the Gospel of Matthew in Chapter 1 of our Lord’s Prayer Book, including how Jesus’s followers misinterpreted his words and wisdom. []
  2. Visit the page As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us to read discussion of this Biblical verse on lust and the adultery we commit in our hearts. []
  3. Explore the meaning of this verse from the Book of Matthew, including its relationship to the Jesus’s teachings and the hidden parable of water by visiting the page: Forgive Us Our Transgressions. []
  4. For Bible commentary on this Gospel of Matthew passage regarding what the Father requires of us to become children of God, go to: The Lord’s Prayer for Daily Life. []