The Teachings of Jesus Christ

Selected teachings of Jesus Christ taken from the Gospel according to St.Matthew Chapters 5, 6 & 7.

Jesus And The Old Testament Writings
Jesus Teaches About Divorce
Jesus Teaches About Giving
You Cannot Serve Two Masters
A Very Important Rule
What People Do Shows What They Are
Two Kinds Of People

Matthew Chapter 5

1 When Jesus saw the crowds of people there, he went up on a hill and sat down. His followers came and sat next to him. 2 Then Jesus began teaching the people. He said, 3 “Great blessings belong to those who know they are spiritually in need. God’s kingdom belongs to them. 4 Great blessings belong to those who are sad now. God will comfort them. 5 Great blessings belong to those who are humble. They will be given the land God promised. 6 Great blessings belong to those who want to do right more than anything else. God will fully satisfy them. 7 Great blessings belong to those who show mercy to others. Mercy will be given to them. 8 Great blessings belong to those whose thoughts are pure. They will be with God. 9 Great blessings belong to those who work to bring peace. God will call them his sons and daughters. 10 Great blessings belong to those who suffer persecution for doing what is right. God’s kingdom belongs to them.
11 “People will insult you and hurt you. They will lie and say all kinds of evil things about you because you follow me. But when they do that, know that great blessings belong to you. 12 Be happy about it. Be very glad because you have a great reward waiting for you in heaven. People did these same bad things to the prophets who lived before you. You Are Like Salt and Light 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its taste, it cannot be made salty again. Salt is useless if it loses its salty taste. It will be thrown out where people will just walk on it. 14 “You are the light that shines for the world to see. You are like a city built on a hill that cannot be hidden. 
15 People don’t hide a lamp under a bowl. They put it on a lampstand. Then the light shines for everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.

Jesus and the Old Testament Writings

17 “Don’t think that I have come to destroy the Law of Moses or the teaching of the prophets. I have come not to destroy their teachings but to give full meaning to them. 18 I assure you that nothing will disappear from the law until heaven and earth are gone. The law will not lose even the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter until it has all been done. 19 “A person should obey every command in the law, even one that does not seem important. Whoever refuses to obey any command and teaches others not to obey it will be the least important in God’s kingdom. But whoever obeys the law and teaches others to obey it will be great in God’s kingdom. 20 I tell you that you must do better than the teachers of the law and the Pharisees.If you are not more pleasing to God than they are, you will never enter God’s kingdom. Jesus Teaches About Anger 21 “You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, ‘You must not murder anyone. Any person who commits murder will be judged.’ 22 But I tell you, don’t be angry with anyone. If you are angry with others, you will be judged. And if you insult someone, you will be judged by the high court. And if you call someone a fool, you will be in danger of the fire of hell. 
23 “So, what if you are offering your gift at the altar and remember that someone has something against you? 24 Leave your gift there and go make peace with that person. Then come and offer your gift. 25 “If anyone wants to take you to court, make friends with them quickly. Try to do that before you get to the court. If you don’t, they might hand you over to the judge. And the judge will hand you over to a guard, who will throw you into jail. 26 I assure you that you will not leave there until you have paid everything you owe. Jesus Teaches About Sexual Sin 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that if a man looks at a woman and wants to sin sexually with her, he has already committed that sin with her in his mind. 29 If your right eye makes you sin, take it out and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell. 30 If your right hand makes you sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Jesus Teaches About Divorce

31 “It was also said, ‘Any man who divorces his wife must give her a written notice of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that any man who divorces his wife, except for the problem of sexual sin, is causing his wife to be guilty of adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman is guilty of adultery. Jesus Teaches About Making Promises 33 “You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, ‘When you make a vow, you must not break your promise. Keep the vows that you make to the Lord.’ 34 But I tell you, when you make a promise, don’t try to make it stronger with a vow. Don’t make a vow using the name of heaven, because heaven is God’s throne. 35 Don’t make a vow using the name of the earth, because the earth belongs to him. Don’t make a vow using the name of Jerusalem, because it also belongs to him, the great King. 36 And don’t even say that your own head is proof that you will keep your promise. You cannot make one hair on your head white or black. 37 Say only ‘yes’ if you mean ‘yes,’ and say only ‘no’ if you mean ‘no.’ If you say more than that, it is from the Evil One. Jesus Teaches About Fighting Back 38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, don’t fight back against someone who wants to do harm to you. If they hit you on the right cheek, let them hit the other cheek too. 40 If anyone wants to sue you in court and take your shirt, let them have your coat too. 41 If a soldier forces you to walk with him one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to anyone who asks you for something. Don’t refuse to give to anyone who wants to borrow from you. Love Your Enemies 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies. Pray for those who treat you badly. 45 If you do this, you will be children who are truly like your Father in heaven. He lets the sun rise for all people, whether they are good or bad. He sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong. 46 If you love only those who love you, why should you get a reward for that? Even the tax collectors do that. 47 And if you are nice only to your friends, you are no better than anyone else. Even the people who don’t know God are nice to their friends. 48 What I am saying is that you must be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Matthew Chapter 6

Jesus Teaches About Giving

1 “Be careful! When you do something good, don’t do it in front of others so that they will see you. If you do that, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 “When you give to those who are poor, don’t announce that you are giving. Don’t be like the hypocrites. When they are in the synagogues and on the streets, they blow trumpets before they give so that people will see them. They want everyone to praise them. The truth is, that’s all the reward they will get. 3 So when you give to the poor, don’t let anyone know what you are doing. 4 Your giving should be done in private. Your Father can see what is done in private, and he will reward you. Jesus Teaches About Prayer 5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites. They love to stand in the synagoguesand on the street corners and pray loudly. They want people to see them. The truth is, that’s all the reward they will get. 6 But when you pray, you should go into your room and close the door. Then pray to your Father. He is there in that private place. He can see what is done in private, and he will reward you. 
7 “And when you pray, don’t be like the people who don’t know God. They say the same things again and again. They think that if they say it enough, their god will hear them. 8 Don’t be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 So this is how you should pray:

"Our Father in heaven, 
we pray that your name will always be kept holy.
10 We pray that your kingdom will come
that what you want will be done here on earth, the same as in heaven. 
11 Give us the food we need for today. 
12 Forgive our sins, 
just as we have forgiven those who did wrong to us. 
13 Don’t let us be tempted, 
but save us from the Evil One."

14 Yes, if you forgive others for the wrongs they do to you, then your Father in heaven will also forgive your wrongs. 15 But if you don’t forgive others, then your Father in heaven will not forgive the wrongs you do. Jesus Teaches About Fasting 16 “When you fast, don’t make yourselves look sad like the hypocrites. They put a look of suffering on their faces so that people will see they are fasting. The truth is, that’s all the reward they will get. 17 So when you fast, wash your face and make yourself look nice. 18 Then no one will know you are fasting, except your Father, who is with you even in private. He can see what is done in private, and he will reward you.

You Cannot Serve Two Masters

19 “Don’t save treasures for yourselves here on earth. Moths and rust will destroy them. And thieves can break into your house and steal them. 20 Instead, save your treasures in heaven, where they cannot be destroyed by moths or rust and where thieves cannot break in and steal them. 21 Your heart will be where your treasure is. 22 “The only source of light for the body is the eye. If you look at people and want to help them, you will be full of light. 23 But if you look at people in a selfish way, you will be full of darkness.And if the only light you have is really darkness, you have the worst kind of darkness. 24 “You cannot serve two masters at the same time. You will hate one and love the other, or you will be loyal to one and not care about the other. You cannot serve God and Money at the same time. Put God’s Kingdom First 25 “So I tell you, don’t worry about the things you need to live—what you will eat, drink, or wear. Life is more important than food, and the body is more important than what you put on it. 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant, harvest, or save food in barns, but your heavenly Father feeds them. Don’t you know you are worth much more than they are? 27 You cannot add any time to your life by worrying about it. 
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? Look at the wildflowers in the field. See how they grow. They don’t work or make clothes for themselves. 29 But I tell you that even Solomon, the great and rich king, was not dressed as beautifully as one of these flowers. 30 If God makes what grows in the field so beautiful, what do you think he will do for you? It’s just grass—one day it’s alive, and the next day someone throws it into a fire. But God cares enough to make it beautiful. Surely he will do much more for you. Your faith is so small! 
31 “Don’t worry and say, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 That’s what those people who don’t know God are always thinking about. Don’t worry, because your Father in heaven knows that you need all these things. 33 What you should want most is God’s kingdom and doing what he wants you to do. Then he will give you all these other things you need. 34 So don’t worry about tomorrow. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Tomorrow will have its own worries.

Matthew Chapter 7

Be Careful About Criticizing Others 1 “Don’t judge others, and God will not judge you. 2 If you judge others, you will be judged the same way you judge them. God will treat you the same way you treat others. 3 “Why do you notice the small piece of dust that is in your friend’s eye, but you don’t notice the big piece of wood that is in your own? 4 Why do you say to your friend, ‘Let me take that piece of dust out of your eye’? Look at yourself first! You still have that big piece of wood in your own eye. 5 You are a hypocrite! First, take the wood out of your own eye. Then you will see clearly to get the dust out of your friend’s eye. 6 “Don’t give something that is holy to dogs. They will only turn and hurt you. And don’t throw your pearls to pigs. They will only step on them. Ask God for What You Need 7 “Continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search, and you will find. Continue to knock, and the door will open for you. 8 Yes, whoever continues to ask will receive. Whoever continues to look will find. And whoever continues to knock will have the door opened for them. 9 “Do any of you have a son? If he asked for bread, would you give him a rock? 10 Or if he asked for a fish, would you give him a snake? Of course not! 
 You people are so bad, but you still know how to give good things to your children. So surely your heavenly Father will give good things to those who ask him.

A Very Important Rule

12 “Do for others what you would want them to do for you. This is the meaning of the Law of Moses and the teaching of the prophets. The Way to Heaven and the Way to Hell 13 “You can enter true life only through the narrow gate. The gate to hell is very wide, and there is plenty of room on the road that leads there. Many people go that way. 14 But the gate that opens the way to true life is narrow. And the road that leads there is hard to follow. Only a few people find it.

What People Do Shows What They Are

15 “Be careful of false prophets. They come to you and look gentle like sheep. But they are really dangerous like wolves. 16 You will know these people because of what they do. Good things don’t come from people who are bad, just as grapes don’t come from thornbushes, and figs don’t come from thorny weeds. 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, and bad trees produce bad fruit. 
 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 You will know these false people by what they do. 21 “Not everyone who calls me Lord will enter God’s kingdom. The only people who will enter are those who do what my Father in heaven wants. 22 On that last Day many will call me Lord. They will say, ‘Lord, Lord, by the power of your name we spoke for God. And by your name we forced out demons and did many miracles.’23 Then I will tell those people clearly, ‘Get away from me, you people who do wrong. I never knew you.’

Two Kinds of People

24 “Whoever hears these teachings of mine and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 It rained hard, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house. But it did not fall because it was built on rock. 26 “Whoever hears these teachings of mine and does not obey them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 It rained hard, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house. And it fell with a loud crash.” 28 When Jesus finished speaking, the people were amazed at his teaching. 
29 He did not teach like their teachers of the law. He taught like someone who has authority.

Prophet A person who speaks a message from God. Many of the books in the Old Testament are messages spoken or written by “the prophets,” who were some of those God chose to speak for him. God often used dreams or visions to tell or show his prophets what they should say.

Moses One of the most important leaders of the Israelites during the time of the Old Testament. God used him to give the people his law, which is often called “the Law of Moses.”

God’s Kingdom The “reign” or “rule” of God over all people who submit to him by accepting Jesus as the Messiah (the appointed king), who represents God’s kingdom on earth. Jesus was the perfect example of submission to the will of God. When people give control of their lives to Jesus, they become part of God’s kingdom and begin to enjoy the blessings he has promised his people from the beginning. (Note that in Matthew this term also translates the Greek word “kingdom” by itself or the phrase, “the kingdom of the heavens,” which was used by Jews as a way to avoid saying the divine name.)

Pharisee A person who belonged to a Jewish religious group that claimed to follow carefully all Jewish laws and customs.

Alter A raised area, pile of stones, or table where sacrifices were offered as gifts to God. An important altar was the one in front of the Temple in Jerusalem. See also “golden altar.”

Vow A very strong promise that a person makes, sometimes to God and often using the name of God or something else known to be real or important. It may include a wish to be punished if the promise is not kept.

Tax Collector A Jew hired by the Romans to collect taxes. Tax collectors often cheated, and the other Jews hated them.

Hypocrite A person with wrong motives who pretends to be good.

Synagogue A place in many cities where Jews gathered for prayer, study of the Scriptures, and other public meetings.

Fast To live without food for a time of prayer or mourning.

Light A symbol for the kinds of things that describe God or his kingdom, such as goodness and truth.

Darkness A symbol for the kinds of things that describe Satan’s kingdom, such as sin and evil.

Holy When referring to people or things, holy means set apart or chosen for a special use; especially, belonging to God or used only for him. It can also mean pure or perfect, worthy of God and fit for his service. When God is called holy, in addition to the idea of pure and perfect, it often means he is completely separate or different from and above everything else that exists. In the New Testament God’s people are holy because they have been made perfect and pure through Christ and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, keep themselves away from sin and live only for God.

False prophet A person who claims to speak for God but does not really speak God’s truth.

Day The day Christ will come to judge everyone and take his people to live with him.

Demon An evil spirit from the devil.

Miracle An amazing act done by the power of God.