Christ’s Message to the
As you read Christ’s
message below do not fear. Jesus did not proclaim
these words to condemn any of us (John 3:16-17). Most of us are
already suffering because of the way we are living.
In our sober moments—finances, relationships, peace
of mind avoid us like a plague. We feel it in our
hearts. We want something better. Jesus is simply
seeking to tell us how to make life work. Jesus speaks
these words for those who realize they are
spiritually poor and promises to bless them.
Jesus offers us a better
way to live as he offers forgiveness for whatever we
have done. In these verses Christ sums up the entire
scope of biblical teaching as concise as it has ever
been done. He sums up his purpose for desiring to
enter your life. After reading his words--hopefully
you will see these things are what rob most of us of
inner peace with ourselves, others and God.
It may surprise us—Jesus
doesn’t give us something religious to do. He gives
us something to be. He tells how to attain it—a new
life is yours for the asking.
One day as he [Jesus] saw the crowds gathering,
Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His
disciples gathered around him, 2
and he began to teach them.
Developing an Inner
"God blesses those who are [spiritually] poor
their need for him,4
God blesses those who mourn,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
for they will be comforted.
5 God blesses those who are humble,
for they will inherit the whole earth.
6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst
for they will be satisfied.
7 God blesses those who are merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.
9 God blesses those who work for peace,
for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
"God blesses you when people mock you and persecute
you and lie about you[c]
and say all sorts of evil things against you because
you are my followers. 12 Be happy
about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits
you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets
were persecuted in the same way.
Become a Light for the
"You are the salt of the earth. But what good is
salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it
salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled
underfoot as worthless.
"You are the light of the world—like a city on a
hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15
No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a
basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where
it gives light to everyone in the house. 16
In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for
all to see, so that everyone will praise your
Respect for God’s Law
"Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come
to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the
prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.
18 I tell you the truth, until heaven
and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of
God’s law will disappear until its purpose is
So if you ignore the least commandment and teach
others to do the same, you will be called the least
in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s
laws and teaches them will be called great in the
Kingdom of Heaven.
"But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better
than the righteousness of the teachers of religious
law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the
Kingdom of Heaven!
Controlling Our Anger
have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must
not murder.—(Exodus 20:13) If you commit
murder, you are subject to judgment.’ 22
But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you
are subject to judgment! If you call someone an
you are in danger of being brought before the court.
And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the
fires of hell.
"So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar
in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone
has something against you, 24
leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be
reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your
sacrifice to God.
"When you are on the way to court with your
adversary, settle your differences quickly.
Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the
judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you
will be thrown into prison. 26 And
if that happens, you surely won’t be free again
until you have paid the last penny.
Living a Spirit Controlled
have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not
commit adultery.’ —(Exodus 20:14) 28
But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with
lust has already committed adultery with her in his
heart. 29 So if your eye—even your
good eye—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw
it away. It is better for you to lose one part of
your body than for your whole body to be thrown into
hell. 30 And if your hand—even
your stronger hand—causes you to sin, cut it off and
throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part
of your body than for your whole body to be thrown
have heard the law that says, ‘A man can divorce his
wife by merely giving her a written notice of
divorce.’ —(Deuteronomy 24:1) 32
But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless
she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit
adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman
also commits adultery.
have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You
must not break your vows; you must carry out the
vows you make to the Lord.’ 34 But
I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By
heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. 35
And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is
his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for
Jerusalem is the city of the great King. 36
Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn
one hair white or black. 37 Just
say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’
Anything beyond this is from the evil one.
Develop a Merciful
have heard the law that says the punishment must
match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth
for a tooth.’ —(Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20;
Deuteronomy 19:21) 39 But I
say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps
you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.
40 If you are sued in court and
your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too.
41 If a soldier demands that you
carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles.
42 Give to those who ask, and don’t
turn away from those who want to borrow.
Love for Enemies
have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’—(Leviticus
19:18) and hate your enemy. 44
But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who
persecute you! 45 In that way, you
will be acting as true children of your Father in
heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil
and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the
unjust alike. 46 If you love only
those who love you, what reward is there for that?
Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47
If you are kind only to your friends,[t]
how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans
do that. 48 But you are to be
perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Give to the Needy
"Watch out! Don’t do
your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others,
for you will lose the reward from your Father in
heaven. 2 When you give to someone
in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing
trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call
attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the
truth, they have received all the reward they will
ever get. 3 But when you give to
someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what
your right hand is doing. 4 Give
your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees
everything, will reward you.
Pray and Fast
you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to
pray publicly on street corners and in the
synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you
the truth, that is all the reward they will ever
But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the
door behind you, and pray to your Father in private.
Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward
"When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of
other religions do. They think their prayers are
answered merely by repeating their words again and
again. 8 Don’t be like them, for
your Father knows exactly what you need even before
you ask him! 9
Pray like this:
Father in heaven,10
May your Kingdom come soon.
may your name be kept holy.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today the food we
12 and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.
"If you forgive those who sin against you, your
heavenly Father will forgive you. 15
But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father
will not forgive your sins.
"And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the
hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and
disheveled so people will admire them for their
fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only
reward they will ever get. 17 But
when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face.
18 Then no one will notice that you
are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you
do in private. And your Father, who sees everything,
will reward you.
Prioritize Your Life
"Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths
eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves
break in and steal. 20 Store your
treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot
destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.
Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your
heart will also be.
"Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your
body. When your eye is good, your whole body is
filled with light. 23
But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled
with darkness. And if the light you think you have
is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!
"No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one
and love the other; you will be devoted to one and
despise the other. You cannot serve both God and
"That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday
life—whether you have enough food and drink, or
enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food,
and your body more than clothing? 26
Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or
store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds
them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than
they are? 27
Can all your worries add a single moment to your
"And why worry about your clothing? Look at the
lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t
work or make their clothing, 29
yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as
beautifully as they are. 30
And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that
are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he
will certainly care for you. Why do you have so
"So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What
will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’
32 These things dominate the
thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father
already knows all your needs. 33
Seek the Kingdom of God[d]
above all else, and live righteously, and he will
give you everything you need.
"So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will
bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for
Do Not Judge Others
"Do not judge others,
and you will not be judged. 2
For you will be treated as you treat others. The
standard you use in judging is the standard by which
you will be judged.
"And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye[c]
when you have a log in your own? 4
How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me
help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when
you can’t see past the log in your own eye?
Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye;
then you will see well enough to deal with the speck
in your friend’s eye.
"Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy.
Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample
the pearls, then turn and attack you.
Seek God through Prayer
on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.
Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on
knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks,
finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be
"You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of
bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10
Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake?
Of course not! 11 So if you sinful
people know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give good
gifts to those who ask him?
Live by the Golden Rule
12 "Do to
others whatever you would like them to do to you.
This is the essence of all that is taught in the law
and the prophets.
Make a Deliberate Choice
can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow
gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is
wide for the many who choose that way. 14
But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road
is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
Choose to Live a Fruitful
"Beware of false prophets who come disguised as
harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.
16 You can identify them by their
fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick
grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
17 A good tree produces good fruit,
and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18
A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree
can’t produce good fruit. 19 So
every tree that does not produce good fruit is
chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20
Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit,
so you can identify people by their actions.
everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will
enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually
do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.
22 On judgment day many will say to
me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast
out demons in your name and performed many miracles
in your name.’ 23 But I will
reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who
break God’s laws.’
"Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is
wise, like a person who builds a house on solid
rock. 25 Though the rain comes in
torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat
against that house, it won’t collapse because it is
built on bedrock. 26 But anyone
who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is
foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.
When the rains and floods come and the winds beat
against that house, it will collapse with a mighty
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the
crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29
for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their
teachers of religious law.
Life Is A
Life is a choice. It has
little to do with what we are naturally attracted
to. Choosing how to live and what we are attracted
to are two completely different things. Jesus deals
with what most of us are attracted to. He tells us
to make a choice to live above our natural
attractions. You can choose how to live; you CAN’T
choose what you are attracted to.
Today you have a choice.
12 And now,
O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but
to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways,
to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all
your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe
the LORD's commands and decrees that I am giving you
today for your own good? NIV
life, so that you and your children may live 20 and
that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his
voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your
life, and he will give you many years in the land he
swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and
We Must Come to Christ
28 "Come to me,
all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give
you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you
and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in
heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy and my burden
We Must Repent of Sin—make
Now there were some present at that time who told
Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had
mixed with their sacrifices. 2
Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans
were worse sinners than all the other Galileans
because they suffered this way? 3
I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will
all perish. 4 Or those eighteen
who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do
you think they were more guilty than all the others
living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you,
no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."
We Must Accept Christ’s
"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God
has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord
When the people heard this, they were cut to the
heart and said to Peter and the other apostles,
"Brothers, what shall we do?"
38 Peter replied, "Repent and be
baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus
Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you
will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39
The promise is for you and your children and for all
who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will
40 With many other words he warned
them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves
from this corrupt generation." 41
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and
about three thousand were added to their number that
Add You to the Assembly of the Saved