Matthew 6-7 | Feb 20-26 | Come Follow Me Insights – powered by Happy Scribe
And I’m Tyler.
This is scripture central’s, come follow me. Insights this week, matthew six and Matthew seven.
So for this first episode, we’re going to begin with just Matthew chapter six. And that’s kind of a treat to get to, to have just one chapter and we can really dive in and explore this. And well, just to catch us up to speed, if you look at this chapter in its context, it’s the middle chapter of three chapters on the sermon on the Mount. Chapter five. He began with the beatitudes and then he gave us that series of upgrades to the law of Moses. And now in chapter six, instead of saying, you have heard that it has been said of them of old, but behold, I say unto you. And then giving you that higher law of the gospel in chapter six, he’s going to take these common Christian behaviors, alms giving prayer fasting forgiving these things that any follower of Christ would be expected to do as part of their discipleship. And he’s going to show us a pattern of how to become more like him. So this part of the law of the gospel is kind of a blueprint for proper Christian behavior. So let’s jump in with our first Christian behavior and watch how Jesus discusses this, not in a do things for the glory and the honors of the world, but because we’re actually trying to become more like Jesus.
It’s one of those great general conference talks on this subject given by President Henry B. irene. Try, try, there’s a lot of symbolism here that ties in there that we just try a little harder to be a little better in all of these make adjustments. In fact, it was President irene in a different talk where he said, if you want to make major improvement in your life, don’t try to change big things, but rather look for small things that get repeated often in your life and make an incremental improvement in how you do those little things. And over time, the sum effect is that you will see large improvement. And I think that fits in beautifully here with what we’re going to talk about in chapter six.
And one of the teaching approaches Jesus seems to employ is using many case studies to teach key principles that should guide your life. So as we’re looking at this chapter, one of the key principles show up right here at the very beginning says, take heed that you do not your alms before men. The new International Version translation would say be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others, to be seen by them. So that is kind of the theme that Jesus is trying to teach this principle. And then he uses several examples, alms giving prayer and fasting about ways that people have misused those righteous activities to kind of show off their righteousness and what we could be doing as disciples to still engage in those good activities without showing off righteousness. So as you’re reading this, look for how is Jesus using examples to teach principles that can guide our lives?
Now, some of you, when you when you hear verse one, it may cause you to pause and say, hold on, wait a minute. I thought back in chapter five, verse 14 through 16, the savior had told the people let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works. And by seeing those good works glorify your Father, which is in heaven. And now some of you might be perplexed saying, how can we have it both ways? Because in one, it seems like he’s saying, let everybody see what you’re doing. And here he’s saying, don’t give alms before men to be seen of them. I don’t know all of the reasons for why the wording is exactly the way it is here compared to over in chapter five, verse 14 through 16. But I think it’s interesting that in that Matthew five account, he didn’t tell you to do your works so that people would see you and so that people would give you the honor. He said, do your good works, let your light so shine that men may see your good works and glorify your Father, which is in heaven. You leave behind you a trail of good works without sitting around waiting for people to give you the credit or to give you a receipt for all of the good things that you’ve done.
And that would tie in beautifully with what’s going on here with chapter six, verse one. This idea of don’t draw the attention to you. Draw people’s attention to the good work so they can glorify God rather than you. And he then gives the opposite in verse two. Notice this therefore when thou DOST thy gnomes, do not sound a trumpet before thee as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets that they may have glory of men verily I sent you, they have their reward. Now, let’s just be very clear here with with the cultural setting and the cultural context and what this would have sounded like to those first century Jewish disciples listening to this speech. In fact, if you were to get in a time machine and go back 2000 years to galilee and get out of that time machine and walk up to anybody and say, hey, I’m I’m looking for a hypocrite. Where can I find a hypocrite? What would any greco Roman or Jewish individual in the first century in judea or galilee say? They would look at you and say, you want the hypocrites?
Go to the theater.
Go down to the theater because they’re probably putting on a play tonight. So the word hypocrite in English comes from actually two words in the Greek to interpret from underneath it’s this idea of a Greek or a greco Roman stage actor since they don’t have any electronic voice magnification or microphone systems, speaker systems. Their theater is built in a nice shape to be able to echo the voice so the actors can be heard. And then they would hold up terracotta masks with little funnels in the mouth so it would help project the voice as well. And an actor could go off stage, take one terracotta mask, put it down, take off a cloak or some costume, put on a different one, pick up a different mask, use different body language, body movements and a different voice, and go out on stage. And people would have no clue that this is a different person because they’re so drawn into that character. Look at your footnote. Two A. It says Greek. The pretenders. The Greek word means a play actor or one who feigns or represents dramatically exaggerates a part. It’s somebody who goes into character to play out this part on the stage for the benefit of trying to entertain, or in some cases deceive an audience into believing this story and make it feel real, like it’s reality.
When in fact, I go offstage, I take off my costume and I go home and I’m not that guy that I played on the stage anymore or those four different roles that I was able to play as a greco Roman hypocrite. Now, some of you might be thinking, so what does this have to do with us today? And why do I care? Because in our definition of hypocrite, it’s usually somebody who says one thing and does another. But you see in jesus’s first century context how powerful this was. He’s basically inviting disciples. Stop pretending, stop putting on a costume and going into character. Remove the mask, remove the costumes, remove the fake voices and the fake body language and just be you at the core.
Be authentic as a disciple of Christ. And so in giving alms, it’s that idea of don’t go out, hey, look what I’m doing. Look at this kind deed that I’m doing. But rather, you just do the kind deed without trying to be in character. So people are applauding you in the congregation or in the crowd as they watch.
So as we continue reading verse three, he says, but when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. Now, again, when Jesus is teaching, sometimes we take these things so literally that we miss possibly the principles he’s trying to teach. And I don’t know, is in every circumstance of my life, my left hand is not supposed to be in sync with my right hand. How would I drive a car or hold anything? So we have to be careful here that when we listen to Jesus, we also listen to his ancient context that he’s trying to illustrate a principle. And using really clear examples that you think about, these ancient listeners would have gone home and had something to talk about these would have been very memorable phrases. And the point was to generate conversation, to get clarity around a principle so that people would live principles that would draw them closer to God. So it really doesn’t mean that you should have no synchronicity among your hands if you want to be a little reader. But the principle is you shouldn’t be trying to magnify yourself in the eyes of the world.
You can. Magnify god. You can do good. Let him do the magnification. So these stories here, these mini case studies, are trying to get people to think about a core principle about do not put your righteousness on display. Let God be expressed through you.
And so now we go to so that was verse one through four. And by the way, the reward in verse four is beautiful, that thine alms may be in secret, and thy Father, which seeth in secret himself, shall reward thee openly. And now we, we come into the section of prayer starting in verse eleven. When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are once again actors, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets that they may be seen of men. It’s as if there are people who say, I’m going to put on a production today and I’m going to show people how righteous and holy and how long and detailed my prayers are compared to theirs. And so later on, you’re going to find in Matthew 23, where Jesus addresses more specifically some of these issues, of some of these hypocrites, so to speak, who actually extend the length of the tassels on their prayer shells. And they make their phylactries bigger than everybody else’s. As if this outward costume to show. Look how much more righteous I am than all of these common people around here.
Look how many scriptures and how effective my prayers are compared to everybody else. And Jesus is attacking that idea of don’t have this be for show. You’re not putting on a production. You’re talking to the God of the universe. And he’s not going to look at what you’re wearing, he’s going to look at your heart. It’s not outward, it’s inward. Verse six but when thou praised, enter into thy closet. And when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which see us in secret, and thy Father which see us in secret, shall reward thee openly.
So this is where we should talk again. Can you imagine if we read this literally, the only place you could pray would be in a closet. And if you happen to live in a culture that didn’t have any, you could never talk to God. So this is where we have to be a little careful not to be extremely literal, but he’s trying to make a point that your purpose of prayer is not to get the praise of men, it’s to be in communion with God. And as an example, one way to do that is to shut the world out, and a closet would be one way of doing it. So Jesus is inviting you to think about the principle and you could say to yourself, what are other ways that I can be in community with God and not advertising myself to the world? It could be actually out of nature, it could be in a temple, it could be in a church meeting. There’s lots of places we have to make sure we don’t box Jesus in to very specific things that he only wants us to hang out in closets to find him.
So now, in verse seven, he gives us another part of this prayer commandment. But when you pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do, for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Again, vain repetition is going to include anything, any word, phrase or practice within the act of prayer that allows me to, quite frankly, zone out, to just kind of go through the motions, jump through the hoop to check the box that said, yes, I said my prayers today.
So these are helpful perspectives. And I know there’s been lots of conversation over the years about what it means to be vain repetition. The word vain means empty or without purpose, as Tyler has been expressing. So the invitation here again is for authenticity, to have purpose and meaning behind what you do. I smile a bit as I think about my son David, years ago when he was a child and we had been reading scriptures and he learned how important was not to do vain repetitions in his prayers. And I remember several weeks went on where every night he would pray, lord, help me not to have vain repetitions in my prayers. And he would say it every night. And then we finally say, that might be a vain repetition. I have a friend who serves in a state present scene. He pointed out something interesting to me. He said, again, this is his personal thought. I found it compelling. He said, I wonder if we make the sacrament prayers a vain repetition. I said, well, tell me more. He said, how many of us really take the time to really think about the words of the prayer?
And if we aren’t really authentically engaged in hearing the words of the prayer, it might feel like a vain repetition. And he said, what if the young men are just rushing through the prayer as fast as they can and we just jump right into the prayer, right into the song, and there’s just no break, there’s no time to actually listen and hear the prayer and have every word be pronounced with meaning? He says, I don’t know, what if we spent more time giving these prayers with purposeful, intent? And I don’t think he’s trying to say that sacramentings generally don’t have purposeful, intent, but it got me to think more seriously about, am I listening to those prayers? Am I teaching the young men in my ward when they give the prayer to do so deliberately, without rush to give pause where it’s necessary for people to hear the power of those words? So those are variety ways we can be looking at what Jesus talked about, vain repetitions, and those might just be some ways of considering it.
Yeah. And if you look at verse eight, he gives us another step. Be not ye therefore like unto them, for your Father knows what things you have need of before ye ask Him. This is a really important point. When I kneel down to pray, I don’t think Heavenly Father’s up in Heaven rubbing his hands together, saying, oh good, finally I get to find out what what tyler’s thinking. I get to find out what he’s feeling. I hope he’ll tell me all about his day. Brothers and sisters, when I pray, I don’t teach God anything that he doesn’t already know perfectly past, present, future about he knows me infinitely better than I know me. He’s commanded me to pray not because he needs to discover things about me, but because I need to discover things about Him and about myself in the attitude of prayer. So when I kneel down, I’m not trying to tell God anything he doesn’t already know. I’m trying to discover things that God already knows about me and about my day. And so I thank Him and I ask Him and I pour my heart out to Him and I move forward in faith, trying to listen so I can hear the voice of the Spirit speaking the things that I need to know to move forward in that next phase of my covenant connection with God in my discipleship.
That’s such a great invitation. I really, really appreciate you share that. Jesus shares, then, these principles about how to pray. He uses this phrase after this manner therefore pray you. Now, again, he’s not saying, I want you just to say these exact words for the rest of your life and no other type of prayer. He’s giving a pattern based on principles. And if you look at what we call the lord’s Prayer, we can see the principles for the kinds of things that we should be talking to God about and even a structure for how to pray. So again, don’t feel like you have to do everything word for word. I don’t think that’s what God’s intending here, but he is inviting you to think on principle. What kind of thing should I be talking to God about?
So I am very excited to introduce a dear friend, I would even say a brother of mine, Harris azar. He is a tour guide over here, actually, in Israel, a local guide, but he has a very interesting background. Tell him about your religion.
I belong to the aramaic orthodox denomination, christian denomination in Israel. And this is one of the first denominations here in the country. And the unique thing is, till now, we still speak the language of Jesus. The language he spoke. Part of the Bible was written in aramaic. Many of the disciples spoke aramaic. And this is a privilege. This is something we are proud of, that we still keep the language of our Lord.
Love it. So we’re going to ask Harris this is a real treat. We’re going to ask Harris to share with us the lord’s Prayer in aramaic, the way his disciples would have heard Him speak.
It sure got it. Besmail nitcode.
Amen. Got a beautiful cadence, beautiful sound to it. Thank you for sharing that with us. So now let’s get the English version. Our Father, which art in heaven I like the fact that this prayer begins with two words our Father. Because here’s Jesus with the group and he’s speaking in first person plural, our Father, he’s pulling us into this familial relationship with Him speaking to our Father, which aren’t in heaven. It’s a beautiful thing to consider all the titles, all of the ways that we could address the Sovereign most powerful, most all knowing being in the whole universe. But he wants us to call him Father. There’s something beautiful there. So Our Father, which art in heaven, hollowed be Thy name. This reverential respect and awe. Verse ten. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Coming from the lips of Jesus. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done. That is his whole life. Jesus, everything he does is to establish the kingdom of God on the earth and to have his will done. This is probably a really good place to introduce this idea that there is a notion in general, christianity, and sometimes even in the way we talk in the church about the end of everything.
When all is said and done, we often talk about we’ll die, we’ll get resurrected and we’ll go to heaven and be saved and enter into our exaltation. The reality from the New Testament, from the teachings of Jesus Christ, is he is making earth an outpost of heaven. He’s not going to take us off of this earth and take us to heaven to save us on fluffy white clouds. He’s bringing heaven here. He’s going to celestialize this earth. He’s going to resurrect us. We don’t leave this body and this earth behind to ascend to heaven. We are caught up to meet Him, and then we come down in the millennium. This concept is taught by Nt Wright, a Christian scholar over in England. This idea that Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, he’s going to celestialize this planet. It’s a beautiful doctrine when you consider our responsibility to build up the kingdom of God on the earth and to take care of the earth and to take care of our bodies to the best we can, because they’re all going to be celestialized someday.
I’m glad you made that point, because I know for many years of my life, when I was younger, I would wait, hope. I want Jesus to come and just solve everything. I want Him to bring that kingdom. And as I’ve looked at these passages and as you’re talking, it clear we are all invited to be part of spreading the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven. So will Jesus come and make things even better? Yes. Should we wait for Him to do it? No. He has asked us to join now in making earth more like heaven, make the kingdom of God spread on the earth and we’ll have a more heavenlike experience. That’s the invitation. In the face of all the challenges that we all are pretty clear about seeing in the world. We can make the world a better place if we follow Jesus as we see laid out here in the scriptures.
And the next verse says, give us this day our daily bread.
Reminds me of being out 40 years in the wilderness. What did he do for the people?
Manna mana for 40 years?
The bread staff of life. Every day he does the same for us.
If you look at the Book of mormon teachings on this, we’re invited in elma, chapter 33, to pray over everything, pray over our flocks and our fills, and our houses, and our homes, and our families, children. It’s kind of this idea of give us this day our daily bread, what we need to be able to survive and thrive. And then verse twelve forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Joseph Smith changed the beginning part of that to say, and suffer us not to be led into temptation, because the idea of God leading us into temptation doesn’t really fit. And so he’s saying, please don’t even allow us to be led into temptation by whatever influence would take us that direction, but deliver us from evil.
And an ancient Jewish prayer was similar. The idea was they would pray if we come upon trials or tests, let us not fall or fail at them. And so we can see various things. Joel Smith’s perspective that God is not going to lead us into temptation, although he will allow us to be tried and tested. We might like the ancient Jews say, lord bless me that I do not fall as I am testing, as I am being tested.
And then he finishes his prayer with this line for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. amen. It’s a beautiful thing to consider that sometimes we think about coming unto Christ. Remember that when you come unto Christ, his whole purpose is to perfect you and to prepare the world, the kingdom to be presented spotless to the Father as Doctrine Covenant, section 76, verse 107 states that it’s presented the kingdom is given to the Father. Jesus doesn’t keep it for himself. He gives all of the glory, all of the honor, all of the kingdom to the Father, including you as part of that kingdom. And then he goes to two verses where he discusses the the Christian behavior of forgiveness. If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. It’s an attribute of God to be able to forgive, but if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. I don’t know of any principle of the Gospel that is more plainly laid out in verse 1415. It’s just so if then simple. And it’s coming from the savior here saying if you want to be like God, you have to learn how to forgive even when people don’t deserve it.
It seems like a pretty sweet deal.
Forgive a lot of people and you’ll get a lot in return.
And then in verse 16 through 18, we come to the Christian behavior of fasting.
Again, this idea of like, let’s not show off our righteousness again. Jesus is sticking to these principles alms, prayer and fasting. Three different case studies of how you can be righteous and a warning. Don’t do it for other people, do it for God, do it for yourself.
Beautiful. So it’s this idea of don’t even let people know you’re fasting. Do it secretly, do it inwardly, wash your face. He’s not saying you have to do that literally every single time. The implication is don’t walk around with a long face saying, yeah, I’m fasting again for the third time this month. And people, wow, he’s righteous. Wow, look at how many times he’s fasting and how long he’s fasting. He’s saying don’t do this for people to see. Now you go to verse 19 and he’s talking about treasures. Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. You can spend your entire life seeking for money and treasures, things that this world would value. And he’s saying moth and rust eventually corrupt. Time will corrupt all of the treasures of the earth. And so his solution is, but lay up for yourself treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. My wife on occasion has shared this thought of try to do something every day that will stay done, that won’t get dirty.
You do the dishes, you do the laundry, you sweep the floor, you vacuum, you mow the lawn, you paint, all those things eventually get undone and you have to do with them. So we keep doing those. But I like that idea of find something that you can do just as little as it may be, every day that will stay done, that won’t get undone. A kind word, a kind deed, a thoughtful act of service for someone or a gift or a phone call where it doesn’t get undone. You’re laying up treasures for yourself. And then this beautiful line in verse 21 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Have you noticed that your heart’s desire actually aims your direction of life? The more you think about and desire something, the more you focus on it and the more you go in that direction. Well, if you do that with the earth’s treasures, that’s where you’re going to spend all of your time and your energy and your effort trying to attain. But if our heart is turned heavenward to Christ, to Heavenly Father, that’s the direction we’re going to face and then we’re going to reflect heaven’s love for other people.
It’s just a beautiful principle.
Well, then we have in verse 22 and 23 concept of light, beautiful images of Jesus as light. In section 93 you can cross reference, the light of the body is the eye. If therefore thine, I be single, thy whole body full of light. But if thy eye thine, I be evil, thy whole body should be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness. Now it turns out, as fallen nature, humans, all of us at times struggle with not having all the light in our eye that we want. Again, Jesus is using as a good teacher very stark contrast, light and dark to teach a principle that we should be pursuing after the light of Jesus in our souls, in our lives, so we can have that joy. And if we are pursuing darkness, if we’re pursuing the treasure, this earth, nothing else, then we are missing the opportunity to have God’s light with us. So our hope is that nobody feels overwhelmed, that they may have messed up at some point, that that means that they’re forever full of darkness. And then this next couple of verses are quite interesting.
Again, he’s using a small case study or to explain some principles. He says, no man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. And the idea is, imagine if you had two bosses who both had equal sway on your time and your responsibilities, and what if they both gave contradictory claims on your time? Who would you serve? You would have to serve one at the expense of the other, or vice versa. And what Jesus is trying to say is that you cannot in the long run, you truly cannot be on the devil’s side in him and his kingdom and also experience all that God wants for you. You just can’t. And so it is a stark contrast and obviously there’s a lot of gray in our lives as. We are making our way into God’s kingdom. But the point is to make this clear difference. Seek and strive to be serving God’s interests. And as much as possible, be aware where you’re not. Because ultimately, if you don’t serve God’s interests, your interests will not be served.
Now this next section beginning in verse 25 is about his disciples going out to preach the Gospel. He says to them, Therefore, I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor yet for your body what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat in the body than Raymond. And then he gives this beautiful analogy, behold the fowls of the air. And it makes you wonder if there was a flock of birds overhead right at that moment as he points, because he’s so able as the master teacher to use things that really connect with people, and that from then on they’ll be able to remember this next time they see a flock of birds, the memory of his voice echoing in their mind. Consider these fowls up in the air. They sow not. Neither do they reap nor gather into barns. Yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are ye not much better than they? They’re creatures. They were created by him. But you aren’t a creature. You are a child of God. You, you have the capacity to to grow up, to become more like Him.
Now, verse 27, which of you, by taking thought, can add one cupid unto his stature? And why take you thought for Raymond? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin. And then he compares it to solomon, the richest, most prosperous king in possibly the history of the ancient Near East. Of all the kings, this guy excelled. All of them in wisdom and in riches. And he’s saying, look at the lilies of the field, these flowers that are growing here in the galilee. And you can imagine the people looking at them and he’s saying, they’re not toiling, they’re not laboring, but God gives them the raiment that they need. It reminds me of a family history story of my great grandpa living in clarkston, Utah. He had been called on a mission. And back then these men are called on missions from general conference, from the pulpit. And then they would have to leave their families, their wives, children, their farm and go on the mission. Well, that was his situation. And he didn’t have a ton of extra money and his shoes weren’t great. He was walking across a field in the city center there in clarkston, Utah, when he looked down and saw a gleam and picked up a silver $5 coin.
And he thought, perfect answer from heaven. I’m going to be able to go and buy a nice pair of new shoes to serve this mission because it costs $5 at the time. And then the thought came, take that coin to brothers so and so because he doesn’t have any shoes. And the thought was, well, maybe I’ll go buy the new shoes and give these old ones to him. I’ve always been inspired by my great grandpa who acted on that. And he went and gave that five dollar coin to this brother who was able to go and buy shoes so he could go on the mission. And then at one point serving on his mission. Now there are holes in the bottom of his shoes. They’ve worn out there’s. There’s nothing left. And once again, walking on a road one day, he looked down and saw a gleam, and there was another $5 coin that he was able to find and go and get shoes. That, to me, is the epitome of what Jesus is teaching in this chapter, is we live in a world that wants to hoard everything for ourself. And he’s saying, can you trust me?
I hold worlds without number in my hand. I clothe the flowers of the field, and I take care of the birds of the sky. I will take care of my servants. I will provide for them as the needs arise. It’s a powerful concept on the covenant path for us.
And he concludes this thought with, but seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the moral. The moral shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient end of the day is the evil thereof. So concluding this part of the Sermon on the Mount is, we seek God’s righteousness. Jesus began with, don’t try to seek your own righteousness and don’t try to display righteousness. Seek God’s righteousness and everything will work out. And we invite you to think about times in your life when you have seen that be true. And if you haven’t documented it, take the time to write it down or share as appropriate with others how you have seen God’s promises in your life, when you have sought his righteousness and he has given you the blessings that he has in store.
It’s a powerful invitation, Taylor, especially when we look to the past to see where God has done that for us, to then inspire us in the present to go and seek his kingdom, and to seek to build up the kingdom as we move forward with Him on the covenant path into a glorious future. And this is part two, the second episode. We’re going to be in Matthew chapter seven, the last chapter of the Sermon on the Mount. And we’ve mentioned this before, but it’s a good exercise to compare and contrast what you see in the speech given to His Jewish disciples over in Israel with what he teaches his NEPHI and lemonite disciples in the americas. So you can line up Matthew chapter five through seven with third NEPHI twelve through 14. And do those comparisons and you’ll see some subtle differences. So notice how chapter seven, verse one reads, it says, Judge not the EB not judged. But if you look at the 30 514 account, it says, and now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words, he turned again to the multitude, and it opened his mouth unto them again, saying, verily, verily.
I say unto you, judge not, that ye be not judged. So you get these contrasts between the two. I guess I shouldn’t let my left hand know what my right hand is doing, right? We’re going with two continents here. Notice that he’s speaking some of those things from the chapter right before this just to his apostles when they’re going out doing their work. And now he turns to the multitude with this statement, judge not the EB, not judged. With the Joseph translation, it becomes a clearer statement of you need to judge, but make sure you judge righteously. In fact, think about it this way. What can you do to judge without being judgmental? If you if you consider the Book of moroni, chapter seven, where the prophet mormon says to the people in the synagogue, I will show unto you the way to judge in verse 16 and 17. For if something invites you to believe in God or persuades you to do good, you can know with perfect knowledge that that’s good, and the opposite is also true. So the Book of mormon actually shows you how to judge righteously. One of the most beautiful talks I’ve seen to interpret this whole concept was given by President David H.
oakes. It’s on judging and judging righteously. And he talks about different kinds of judgment. And it’s fascinating coming from him, because he was a lawyer and then became a Supreme Court Justice in the state of Utah. He knows how to judge, that this was his profession before he became an apostle. So he talks about different kinds of judgment, that there are intermediate judgments and then there are final judgments. That is not our role, but we have to make those kinds of judgments all the time, every day. We have to make intermediate judgments. And it’s important to judge righteously on those elements of life that we have to make some decisions.
Well, he goes on to clarify this principle that anciently would have been clear to people, but he makes it even clearer. He uses these examples. And listen, we’ve all heard this before, but trying to illustrate how we can get judgment wrong, he uses this verse three. Why behold us, thou the moat that is in thy brother’s eye, but consider it not the beam that is an owner eye. So let’s actually translate this into English. If you have a telephone pole sticking out of your eye, how in the world you can do surgery on somebody else’s eye to get sawdust out of theirs? It’s really hard to judge appropriately when you have such a big problem you need to solve first. And if you can get that removed, repent, change, then you’ll see more clearly where other people might have an opportunity to grow and improve as well. So Jesus, as a master’s teacher, starts the principal judge righteously. He doesn’t explicitly say the word righteous, but then he uses this little case study and he uses an exaggerated story. nobody’s ever going to walk around with a telephone pole or a house beam sticking out of their eye, but it’s so illustrative anybody to go home after the speech and for weeks and years afterwards.
Remember how he taught that principle that if I’m going to be making judgment out of the people, I need to start looking first into my own heart? Very powerful. Very powerful.
And if you look at verse two, it adds even more powerful to it adds more power. Rather to that analogy, he says, for with what judgment you judge, ye shall be judged. And with what measure you meet, it shall be measured to you. Again, this is such an important principle to consider how I look at people and how I pass those judgments, realizing that’s how I’m going to be judged. Hence the need to be so kind and so compassionate and so forgiving and so empathetic with people. I love the line from the journal of Joseph Smith when he said, ever keep in exercise the principle of mercy and be ready to forgive a brother on the first intimations of forgiveness and asking repentance. And then Joseph Smith took it one step further. He said, and should we even forgive a brother before he asks us to forgive him? Our God would be equally as merciful to us. There’s a principle where we could try a little harder to be a little better. And if we keep trying and we keep making little improvements over time, it will result in a very large improvement in our life.
To hearken back to the concept from President irene that we talked about in.
The first episode, I’ll give a brief story about this. My son David has been very diligently mowing our lawn over the last couple of years. We got a new lawn mower recently, and I noticed that there were ridges in the lawn where the grass didn’t look like it had been cut. And me thinking I’m a really dutiful, instructive dad, I’m like, I keep pointing out these errors in the lawn. And my son started feeling a little stressed out because he actually was working pretty hard and being very diligent, and he actually was quite proud of the work he had done. And yet I’m like, look, there’s still grass here. It hasn’t been cut. Well, he got busy with some school activities once, and I had to cut the lawn. I’ll say again, we had bought a new lawn mower when all these problems started. And I’m saying, oh, it’s my son. His qualities dropped. And as I get done mowing the lawn, I look back and I’m like, there’s all these spots that didn’t get done properly. And so I wrote an email to my son, he’s at school. And I said, I need to apologize because it’s not you, it’s the device.
And when he came home, I apologized again. I had a bit of a beam in my eye that I didn’t realize because we had this new device that wasn’t working properly. And one of the invitations is, are we slowing down enough to understand where people are coming from, their context, what’s motivating them to act? And what’s often surprising massive plot twists in life is we learn that often what people are doing has a good reason that we didn’t initially understand. And often they have good intent, maybe, but the outcome was different than they expected or we expected.
I love that example. This reminds me of something that I learned from Grant Anderson many years ago in a seminary institute training setting. He talked about the sermon on the mount and how it’s this covenant path, this progression back to God. And if you consider it as this path taking us to become more like God. And he talked about how on the path there are various off ramps, ways that people can get off and deviate from the covenant path. And if you look back in chapter six, it started with giving alms to be seen of men, or praying and fasting to be seen of men. So an off ramp on the covenant path is to start doing things for the wrong reason, to be seen of men. And now we’ve jumped into chapter seven, and the Lord is giving us another caution to disciples on the covenant path, don’t get off by looking down judgmentally at other people. Don’t judge unrighteously, because that’s an offramp. The only time we should be looking down the path at somebody is with a look of compassion and empathy and christlike love to reach out and encourage them and lift them up and help wipe off the stained knees and the bruises that they’ve experienced and encourage them to move forward.
So I love the fact that as you look at these, he’s not just teaching you how to move forward, he’s also giving us these cautions of be aware there are these exit ramps and they’re very enticing, and just be aware of them.
I’ll tell just a very brief story to illustrate this further. Years ago, I moved out to Washington DC. With my wife. So we’re living in Washington DC. It’s a very large city, lots of roads, it’s new for me. And I found myself often getting on the wrong road and discovering myself being somewhere I didn’t intend to be. By the end of that summer, I didn’t get lost, hardly ever at all. Why? I knew where all the off ramps were going to take me. And I realized I don’t want to go on that one because I know where it goes. And it taught me this principle that sometimes in life we’re working hard at things and things don’t work out and we find ourselves somehow off the path. And yet there’s this opportunity to come back. Whether we purposely walked off the path or inadvertently found ourselves off for whatever reason. That’s the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ. It’s this everlasting welcoming arms of come back. You can come back in. There is no off ramp that is permanent unless you choose to make it permanent.
Well said. Now this next concept that he takes us to starts in verse six. Give not that which is wholly unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before Swine lest they trample them under their feet and turn again and rend you. So it’s this idea of sometimes we share things that are too sacred and he’s using hyperbole. Speaking of Swine and dogs, dogs were not man’s best friend in first century Jewish context like they are today. And swine are the most unclean of all of the unclean animals. To a first century Jewish audience there seems to be this appeal to keep sacred things sacred. For instance, we don’t go around giving people a copy of our patriarchal blessing or sharing deep spiritual and personal intimate kinds of revelations that God has given us or that are shared in a family setting.
It’s interesting, moving on from this, the similar concept that God says, I want to give you more if you know how to treat it responsibly, he says, ask and it shall be given you seek and ye shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh, findeth and to Him that knocketh, it shall be opened. So God is not trying to keep us from having pearls but he is saying, if you can be responsible for what I am willing to give you, I will give you even more.
Isn’t that fun? In English, this acronym, how it works, and that is one of the most commonly repeated commandments in all of Scripture across the standard works is this command to Ask. God works among the children according to their to their faith. We have to ask in many cases before those blessings are given. And then we seek Him and we knock on the door of heaven. Don’t you love that in English how that works out with Ask being the acronym here for Ask, Seek and knock. And I would just suggest that symbolically this ultimately happens in the temple of our God. The veil of the temple represents this beautiful analogy of being the flesh of Christ to reference the epistle to the hebrews. We enter into heaven by coming through the veil and it’s there we come to Christ to ultimately ask and to seek and to knock on that door of heaven in hopes that it will open up to let us in and look at the promise that he gives in verse eight. For everyone that asketh, receive us, and he that seeketh, find us, and to Him that knocketh, it shall be opened.
He didn’t leave a lot of qualifiers there. He just left it pretty straightforward. You ask seek a knock and you’re going to get things. He didn’t tell you when you’re going to get them. He didn’t tell you how you’re going to get them, or in what proportions you’re going to get them. He just promised that you would receive all of those blessings.
I like these two next verses. Imagine a Sea of galilee context. Most of these people live on bread and fish. And in their culture, it was kind of the father’s job to be the bread winner, to provide the bread and fish for the family, so they all understand what a good father, what a good mother should be doing for their children. What does Jesus say? Trying to illustrate God’s qualities of giving. If you ask or what man is there of you whom, if His Son asks bread, will he give him a stone? There are plenty of stones in the galilee region. Or if you ask a fish, we’ll give him a serpent. So these people listening to this serpent amount, they understand immediately, well, that’s right. None of us would ever give our children snakes and stones when they ask for food at night or for breakfast, because we’re trying to give them bread and fish with staples of life in the galilee region, they think, oh, wait, if I know how to give good things to my children, then God is greater than me. He will give me greater than I could ever imagine.
What a great way of teaching this principle.
You know, it’s so simple. And yet if we if we truly exercise faith in God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and go in prayer asking for what we really deeply desire, and you’ll notice how often our prayers and I’ll speak just for me and not for anybody else, how often my prayers are shallow. I live beneath my privileges because I end up falling into patterns of just asking for a blessing over my food, or that I’ll be safe and protected on the roads, or that I’ll be able to do well with my work, kind of surface level things. But if I’m honest with myself, it’s an amazing thing to pause every once in a while and break out of that prayer cadence that we often get into and to pause and reflect for a moment and say, what is it that I really, really want deep down? What is it that I really want to ask? What am I really seeking after? What door do I really want to knock on? As important as it is to have that breakfast, be blessed to strengthen my body. That’s an important thing. I’m going to keep praying that is there something more that I should be seeking.
And what an amazing thing to look at scriptures, for instance, as a meal and say, heavenly Father, I’m thankful for this meal of which I’m about to partake. Please bless it to nourish me, to strengthen my soul, to give me power to overcome temptation. And when we start asking things that we really want, heavenly Father, I want salvation, I want to be saved. I want my wife and my children and my extended family members and my ward members and my stake members and my students. I want them to feel light and love and truth. Please help me be an instrument to do whatever I can to encourage and lift and build. I have found that when my prayers go to those levels, it feels different. I’m pleading with Him, not for myself, but to help build up the kingdom. And it feels more empowering. I feel like there’s more hope to get up and go and get that day and be an instrument in his hands when my prayers shift to what I really deeply and eternally want, not just what I want right now. One of the most famous teachings in all of the Bible, in all of christianity in general, comes in verse twelve.
Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them. For this is the law and the prophets. It’s called the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It’s such a simple principle, that idea of treat them with the same level of kindness and respect that you want to be treated with, it’s pretty profound. And our world desperately needs this Golden Rule.
Today I’ve heard people say golden rule. Then there’s the platinum rule. Do unto others as they would have done unto them. And I have a friend who shares a story about when he was a kid, his sister would always give my friend her favorite music album for Christmas. And he didn’t like that music, but she did, and she was motivated by this principal. Well, I should do unto others as I want them to do unto me, and I want them to give me this music album. And so she’d give it to her brother. I don’t want this. So I think you get the point here is that we should not treat people in ways we don’t want to be treated. And we should think about, what do people want? Think about the ammon story in the Book of mormon. He did unto others as they would have done unto them. He goes among them and says, how would you like to be served? And he did. He didn’t simply serve them the way he wanted to serve them, he served them as they wanted to be served. And that’s, I think, bound up in jesus’s message how do we serve people as they would prefer to be served?
Yeah, and I think that’s part of the golden rule, if you think of it coming from Jesus, who knows and perceives the thoughts and the intents, knows his audience, I think that’s beautifully encapsulated. There this idea of doing to others as you’d have them do unto you. What would you have them do to you? What you want done to you? So the implication is figure out what they want done to them and meet those meet those needs appropriately. It’s it’s a beautiful concept here. Now you go to verse 13 and 14. Enter ye in at the straight gate, for why it is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at because straight is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. You’ll notice the spelling here is not str A-I-G-H-T. It’s spelled Str A-I-T. Kind of like you would spell the Straits of magellan or the strait of gibraltar. It’s this narrow, difficult at times, feels dangerous passageway that’s not broad. Every road is going to take you where you need to go.
No, it’s very specific. Do the things which you have seen me do. Not all roads lead to Rome in this context? So then in 15 through 20, he talks about false prophets and he, he gives this, this command beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep’s clothing. Inwardly they are ravening wolves. So outwardly they look calm, lambs, very gentle, but inwardly they’re ravening wolves.
We could give her just a brief example. I don’t know if Jesus had this one particularly mine, but about a generation before the time of Jesus, there was another man with the same name Jesus, who rose up and convinced all these Jews in the galilee region that they followed him, they could overthrow the Roman occupiers. And it didn’t turn out very well. It turns out the romans didn’t like the rebellion and so they captured many of these rebellious people, including this leader, and they crucified them. Thousands of these Jews were killed because they followed a false leader instead of seeking to learn from the realm Master. So again, I don’t know if Jesus had this in mind, but Jesus was aware that in every generation of human history, there are people who will teach you whatever you want to hear for their game so they can have more power. And you look at what Jesus does. Does Jesus ever teach things simply so he can get more power? That’s not how he operated. So we have to be careful in our world today that we listen to people who have jesus’s best interests in mind and not just their own.
Beautiful. Now, this next concept is one that they would have understood probably better than most of us in our context today, because these are people who had to oliver largely off of the land to one degree or another. So he says, you shall know them. How do you tell the difference between a good prophet and a false prophet? You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles? Do you go to a thistle and start picking figs? No. You know, a plant or a tree by its fruits.
And by the way, figs and grapes were often the desserts and the sweetest things they know. So it’s like the really good stuff. He didn’t mention carrots or potatoes or rudimega or vegetables. He’s talking about the things that people really are driven to want to eat on a regular basis because of their taste.
In today’s culture, in our world society today, there seems to be less of a focus on the fruits and more of people looking to the roots and trying to dig up dirt on people and look to the past and say, well, look at what he did here there, or what he did wrong here. From our perspective, judging people through a cultural lens from the 21st century, looking back in time and holding all these people in the history of the world accountable for our current perspectives, and by their roots, they’re finding these perceived problems and plucking out the whole tree. I love this idea that it’s by their fruits you shall know them. You partake of the fruits of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Are you going to be able to dig up dirt on past leaders and on past practices and on historical events in the church or in any of the scripture characters lives? Absolutely. Except for Jesus Christ himself. You’re going to find struggles in the roots, but it doesn’t mean that we pluck up the whole tree and throw it out, because we’ve identified that that root looks bad. At the end of the day.
I don’t know that I’m qualified to tell you which roots are good and which roots are bad anyway, when it comes right down to it. But I can tell when something tastes good, when it sits right, when it strengthens me, when I feel empowered to be a better person because of it. And I love that invitation from Jesus to judge righteously and to distinguish between faults and true prophets by their fruits, not by going into their past and trying to dig up any dirt that we can on them. So he finalizes that in verse 20 with a statement to reiterate what he’s taught up above. wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. It’s not by their roots ye shall know them.
Let’s tie this into the Book of mormon. alma very famously asks us to run an experiment to plant a seed. And then I want you to taste the fruit of God’s love in your life. So the invitation is where? In your. Life. Have you seen the fruits of God in your life? And that should suggest something about the kind of roots that he has helped you to establish. And if you feel like you need more roots, great. Keep nourishing that tree like alma talked about and you will be able to experience more fruits, not just for yourself, but other people will also be able to partake of the fruit that you bring forth.
Good. Now the next concept is tied into these fruits. What kind of fruits will they be? Verse 21 not everyone that saith unto me, lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. It’s not enough to say, look at the fruits of my righteousness. I’m saying all the right things in the right way at the right time to the right people. He’s saying, not everybody who says Lord, Lord is going to get in because it’s not who they are. It’s tying back into that hypocrite notion that we talked about earlier. You’re acting, you’re reading a script, you’re playing a part on a stage, but it’s not who you really are. So verse 22 says, many will say to me in that day, lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works and then will I profess into them. I never knew you depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Now this is an interesting one because if you read literally, you might think, oh wait, there’s other scriptures that tell where Jesus says he empowers his disciples to go out and do these things and now he’s saying that you don’t have a shot. And again, the principle here is that it is not enough to do these outward performances. The heart has to be set in the right place and God knows how to judge. So if you’re out there getting the limelight of reaching in church or doing some great act that gets lots of press, but you do it only for that reason. You have your reward. If you’re doing it to build the kingdom of God, god knows your heart and he won’t be saying what we find in verse 23. So again, just to be clear, jesus often spoke in such a way that it was to invoke people thinking and conversation, conversing with one another around the principles he was he was talking about, and not simply to just take the explicit literal meaning and apply to every last context you could ever imagine.
And this is also a beautiful tie in where you get another example and there are many of them and we’re not pointing all of them out, but this is one of them where Jesus is actually quoting from their hymn book or from their psalms. So in verse 23, it’s a direct quote from psalm six, verse eight. This idea of Depart from me. He’s he’s using a little segment from a song they would have known. So now it brings all of the rest of the teachings from psalm six kind of to mind when he quotes this little section out of that particular psalm. And now we go to verse 24. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a rock.
I’ve never heard this before.
Yeah, this is so good. We should have somebody write a song about this with some hand gestures because this is a really good concept. A wise man building his house upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock. Now watch the contrast. And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man which built his house upon the sand. A little concept I learned from my good friend clint mortensen was if you contrast verse 24 with verse 26, the wise people hear and do, the foolish people hear and don’t do. Did you pick up on that? Both groups heard, both groups were taught. They got it, they understood the message. But only one group did the things that they heard. Another group said, no, I don’t need that. It’s not for me. And they then build their foundation upon the sand.
Verse 24 is really powerful if we connect it back to the law of Moses. Other Jewish teachers at the time of Jesus used a similar metaphor to talk to people about being on a sperm foundation. And what they would say is, you should be built on the Law or the torah. You might remember the Law or the torah was what God revealed to the israelites at Mount sinai. And torah really means instructions. It’s like the covenant instructions for fidelity and loyalty to God. And what have we been saying about the sermon on the Mount? Jesus is the new Moses now on a mountain like Moses was receiving the upgrade to the law or the torah or to the covenantal instructions. Now, as I said, other ancient Jewish teachers would say things like, you should be founded on the law or the torah. That makes sense in a Jewish context. That would be a foundation to be founded on the Rock of God’s. Covenant instructions. Here we are in the ending of the mormon, the Mount. And Jesus says, therefore whose overhearth these saints of mine and doth them. So Jesus is now upgrading to 20.
The law in the torah is no longer just the Old Testament Law of Moses, but is now the sermon on the Mount. If you follow these upgraded covenant instructions, you will be on the rock and you will be saved.
The law of the gospel. It’s such a beautiful principle. And now if you tie it into one of my favorite Alzheime verses of scripture from the Book of mormon in the Book of Healaman, this incredible speech that Heelman is giving to his two sons, NEPHI and lehigh when he says, and now, my sons remember that it is upon the rock of not the law, not even the law of the gospel, but kind of a version. Now 3.0 from the Book of mormon’s perspective would be upon the rock of our redeemer, who is Christ the Son of God, that you must build your foundation. And then he gives all these other promises in the rest of verse twelve that tie in beautifully with his conclusion here to the sermon on the Mount, when he says verse 28 and it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings the people were astonished at his doctrine for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. He’s a rock to build upon.
Yes, the scribes used to share teachings, but they would be quoting past sages or past prophetic authorities. And Jesus shows up and he’s not quoting past prophets. Well, there’s a few places where he does. He’s speaking on the authority of God, which for these people was really rare. They were expecting a preacher to simply share things that were been quoted and preached by past prophets. He has the authority of God.
So as we conclude these episodes that we’ve done now on the sermon on the Mount, our hope and our prayer, not just for us, but for all of us, is that we can take these attributes of Christ that he is put on a silver platter for us and shown us. Here are the upgrades to the law. Here are Christian behaviors, here are exit ramps off the covenant path to be aware of and to avoid. Here are ways to not go into character and be a hypocrite, but to do things secretly so that your father would see it in secret will reward you openly. As we take all of these things and take those now to the Lord in sincere earn a study fasting in prayer and say I really want to be a better person. I want to be more like the savior. Help me know what I could do in my life today, this week, this month, this year, to more fully apply these teachings in my life so that I can more firmly build my foundation on the rock of my redeemer, whereon if men build, they cannot fall. I love that promise from the Book of mormon and that promise is yours as well as everybody’s today who’s willing to do that.
And we leave that assurance with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. Know that you’re loved
Jesus preaches the Sermon on the Mount-Its teachings replace and transcend some aspects of the Law of Moses-Men are commanded to be perfect like their Father in heaven.
📷1 AND seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
📷2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
📷3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
📷4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
📷5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
📷6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
📷7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
📷8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
📷9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
📷10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness” sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
📷11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
📷12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
📷13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
📷14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
📷15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
📷16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
📷17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
📷18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
📷19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
📷20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
📷21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
📷22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
📷23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
📷24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
📷25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
📷26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
📷27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
📷28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
📷29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
📷30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut if off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
📷31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
📷32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
📷33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
📷34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:
📷35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
📷36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
📷37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
📷38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
📷39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
📷40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
📷41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
📷42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
📷43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
📷44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
📷45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
📷46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
📷47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
📷48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO
Jesus heals on the Sabbath-He chooses the Twelve Apostles-He pronounces blessings upon the obedient, woes upon the wicked.
📷1 AND it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.
📷2 And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?
📷3 And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him;
📷4 How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone?
📷5 And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
📷6 And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.
📷7 And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him.
📷8 But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth.
📷9 Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?
📷10 And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
📷11 And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.
📷12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
📷13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;
📷14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,
📷15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,
📷16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.
📷17 And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;
📷18 And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.
📷19 And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.
📷20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
📷21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
📷22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
📷23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
📷24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
📷25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
📷26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
📷27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
📷28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
📷29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.
📷30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
📷31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
📷32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
📷33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
📷34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
📷35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
📷36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
📷37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
📷38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
📷39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
📷40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
📷41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
📷42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.
📷43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
📷44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
📷45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
📷46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
📷47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
📷48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
📷49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.