Matthew 5



Matthew 5 contains the opening sections of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus imparts profound teachings on the values and attitudes of his followers, emphasizing humility, righteousness, love, and a higher standard of living than what was traditionally understood from the Law.


  1. The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12): Jesus starts his sermon with a series of blessings known as the Beatitudes. He describes the characteristics of those who are blessed in the eyes of God, such as the poor in spirit, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those persecuted for righteousness' sake.

  2. Salt and Light (Matthew 5:13-16): Jesus uses the metaphors of salt and light to illustrate the impact his followers should have on the world. They are to be salt, preserving righteousness, and light, shining the truth of God for all to see.

  3. Fulfillment of the Law (Matthew 5:17-20): Jesus declares that he has not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to fulfill them. He emphasizes the enduring importance of God's commandments and teaches that righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees.

  4. Teaching on Anger and Reconciliation (Matthew 5:21-26): Jesus delves into the deeper spiritual dimensions of the Law, discussing issues such as anger, reconciliation, and the importance of resolving conflicts before worshiping God.

  5. Teaching on Adultery and Divorce (Matthew 5:27-32): Jesus addresses the commandments related to adultery and divorce, emphasizing the sanctity of marriage and the seriousness of lustful thoughts.

  6. Teaching on Oaths and Retaliation (Matthew 5:33-42): Jesus instructs about making oaths, encouraging honesty and straightforward communication. He also teaches about non-retaliation and turning the other cheek.

  7. Love for Enemies (Matthew 5:43-48): Jesus challenges his followers to love their enemies, modeling God's unconditional love. This teaching goes beyond cultural norms and showcases a radical form of love.


5.1 The Sermon on The Mount


"And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:"


  1. Observing the Crowds: The verse starts by noting that Jesus saw the crowds. Throughout his ministry, Jesus often attracted large groups of people who were drawn to his teachings, healings, and miracles.
  2. Ascent to the Mountainside: Jesus responds to the presence of the crowds by going up on a mountainside. This setting has symbolic significance. In the Bible, mountains are often associated with places of encounter with God, prayer, and significant revelation. By going up the mountainside, Jesus is setting the stage for a profound and impactful teaching.
  3. Sitting Down: It's worth noting that in the ancient Jewish tradition, when a rabbi or teacher was about to give a formal and authoritative teaching, they would typically sit down. This posture indicated that they were ready to offer instruction. In this case, Jesus, as the Rabbi and authoritative teacher, sits down to deliver the Sermon on the Mount.
  4. His Disciples Came to Him: The text mentions that Jesus' disciples came to him. This indicates that there is a distinction between the larger crowd and those who are more closely following Jesus, often referred to as his disciples or followers. The Sermon on the Mount is initially directed to these disciples, but it becomes a message for all who are present.


5.2-3 The Poor In Spirit


"And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."


  1. He Began to Teach Them: Jesus, having ascended the mountainside and seated himself, begins his formal teaching. The phrase "He began to teach them" signals the start of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus imparts profound and transformative teachings to his disciples and the gathered crowd.

  2. "Blessed are the poor in spirit":

    • Blessed: The term "blessed" in this context goes beyond mere happiness. It implies a state of spiritual well-being and divine favor. Jesus is describing the fortunate or privileged condition of those who possess the qualities he is about to mention.

    • The Poor in Spirit: "Poor in spirit" refers to a recognition of spiritual poverty or dependence on God. It signifies humility, acknowledging one's need for God, and a realization that true wealth is found in a relationship with Him.

  3. "For theirs is the kingdom of heaven":

    • Jesus declares that those who are "poor in spirit" are blessed because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. This statement underscores a central theme of Jesus' teachings—the arrival of the kingdom of heaven and the invitation for people to enter into a new relationship with God.


5.4 Those Who Mourn


"Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted."


  1. "Blessed are those who mourn":
    • Following the first beatitude about the "poor in spirit," Jesus now addresses those who mourn. Mourning, in this context, likely refers to a deep and sincere sorrow, not just limited to the loss of a loved one but extending to a broader recognition of the brokenness and sinfulness in the world.
    • The use of "those who mourn" suggests a broader understanding of human suffering and empathy for the pain experienced by individuals.
  2. "For they will be comforted":

    • The promise of comfort is a significant element of this beatitude. Jesus assures that those who mourn will receive comfort. This comfort is not just a temporary relief but a deeper sense of solace, healing, and restoration, ultimately tied to the redemptive work of God.


5.5 Those That Are Humble


"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."


  1. "Blessed are the meek":
    • In this beatitude, Jesus declares a blessing upon the meek. Meekness is often misunderstood; it does not imply weakness or passivity. Instead, it reflects a humble and gentle disposition, an attitude of submission to God's will, and a willingness to consider the needs and feelings of others before oneself.
  2. "For they will inherit the earth":
    • The promise associated with meekness is the inheritance of the earth. This phrase has both a present and future dimension. In the present, it suggests that those who are meek will experience a unique sense of contentment and peace even amid life's challenges. In a future sense, it points to the ultimate inheritance of God's kingdom, where the meek will share in the blessings and reign with Christ.
  3. Connection with Old Testament:
    • The idea of inheriting the earth echoes Old Testament promises, such as Psalm 37:11, which says, "But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity." Jesus is presenting himself as the fulfillment of these promises and expanding the understanding of the inheritance beyond a physical land to the eschatological kingdom of God.


5.6 Those That Thirst For Righteousness


"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."


  1. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness":

    • In this beatitude, Jesus speaks about a deep and intense longing—hunger and thirst—for righteousness. Righteousness, in a biblical sense, refers to a state of moral and spiritual integrity, adherence to God's standards, and a commitment to justice. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are characterized by a passionate desire to live according to God's principles and to see justice prevail.

  2. "For they will be filled":

    • The promise associated with this beatitude is that those who passionately seek righteousness will be filled. This filling goes beyond mere physical satisfaction; it speaks to spiritual satisfaction and fulfillment. Those who earnestly pursue righteousness will find their hunger and thirst satisfied through a deep connection with God and alignment with His purposes.

  3. Connection with Spiritual Aims:

    • The imagery of hunger and thirst conveys a sense of urgency and necessity. It highlights that the pursuit of righteousness should be a primary and compelling focus in the lives of Jesus' followers.

  4. Continuation of a Theme:

    • This beatitude builds on the previous ones, emphasizing the inner qualities and attitudes that characterize those who are part of God's kingdom. It echoes themes found in the Old Testament, where hungering and thirsting for God and His ways are seen as essential aspects of a faithful life.


5.7 The Merciful


"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy."


  1. "Blessed are the merciful":
    • In this beatitude, Jesus emphasizes the importance of showing mercy. Mercy involves compassion, forgiveness, and kindness toward those who are in need or have wronged us. It reflects a heart that is willing to extend grace and understanding to others.
  2. "For they will be shown mercy":
    • The promise connected to this beatitude is reciprocal: those who show mercy will receive mercy. This principle reflects a fundamental aspect of Jesus' teaching on forgiveness and the measure by which we treat others being reflected back to us.
  3. Mutual Relationship:
    • The beatitude establishes a mutual relationship between our actions and the way we are treated. It suggests that mercy is not only a virtue in itself but also a quality that influences how we experience God's mercy in return.
  4. Connection with the Lord's Prayer:
    • This beatitude resonates with the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:12), where Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, "Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." The concept of forgiveness and mercy is central to both teachings.
  5. Continuation of Ethical and Moral Values:
    • Like the previous beatitudes, this one continues to emphasize the ethical and moral values that characterize the followers of Jesus. Mercy is not just a suggestion but a key aspect of living out the principles of God's kingdom.


5.8 The Pure In Heart


"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God."


  1. "Blessed are the pure in heart":
    • This beatitude focuses on the inner condition of the heart. "Pure in heart" refers to a moral and spiritual purity, free from hypocrisy, deceit, and selfish motives. It implies a sincerity and singleness of purpose in one's devotion to God.
  2. "For they will see God":
    • The promise associated with this beatitude is profound: those who are pure in heart will see God. This goes beyond physical sight; it signifies a deep and intimate knowledge of God, a communion with Him that comes from a heart devoted to Him without ulterior motives.
  3. Connection with Jewish Tradition:
    • The idea of seeing God has deep roots in the Jewish tradition. In the Old Testament, the vision of God was often associated with divine revelation and an encounter with His glory.
  4. Emphasis on Inner Transformation:
    • This beatitude reinforces the theme of inner transformation and righteousness. It stresses the importance of cultivating a heart that is genuinely devoted to God, reflecting integrity and purity in thoughts, motives, and actions.
  5. Preparation for the Following Beatitudes:
    • The purity of heart is a crucial foundation for the subsequent beatitudes, as Jesus continues to address the qualities and attitudes that characterize those who belong to the kingdom of God.


5.9 The Peacemakers


"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."


  1. "Blessed are the peacemakers":
    • This beatitude extols the virtue of peacemaking. Peacemakers are those who actively seek to reconcile conflicts, promote harmony, and bring about peace in relationships and communities. It goes beyond the absence of conflict to actively working toward the well-being and unity of others.
  2. "For they will be called children of God":
    • The promise associated with this beatitude is significant. Those who engage in the work of peacemaking will be recognized as "children of God." This title emphasizes a familial relationship with God and conveys a sense of divine approval and identity.
  3. Connection with God's Character:
    • Peacemaking aligns with the character of God, who is often referred to as the God of peace. Those who actively pursue peace reflect the nature of God and participate in His redemptive work.
  4. Link to the Lord's Prayer:
    • This beatitude resonates with the Lord's Prayer, where Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." Peacemakers contribute to the realization of God's kingdom on earth.
  5. Promotion of Community and Unity:
    • This beatitude reinforces the importance of community and unity within the kingdom of God. Peacemaking is not only a personal virtue but a communal one, contributing to the well-being of the larger society.


5.10 The Persecuted


"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."


  1. "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness":
    • This beatitude addresses the reality of persecution that followers of Jesus may face. It emphasizes that persecution, not for wrongdoing, but "because of righteousness," is a sign of the blessedness of those who remain committed to God's principles, even in the face of opposition.
  2. "For theirs is the kingdom of heaven":
    • The promise associated with this beatitude is the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven. It echoes the earlier beatitude about those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, reinforcing the idea that those who endure persecution for their commitment to God's ways will receive a special place in the kingdom.
  3. Connection with Previous Beatitudes:
    • This beatitude builds upon the previous ones, particularly the emphasis on righteousness and the willingness to endure hardship for the sake of God's kingdom. It underscores the theme of the radical and counter-cultural nature of Jesus' teachings.
  4. Identification with Jesus:
    • Jesus' own life and ministry were marked by opposition and persecution. This beatitude suggests that followers of Jesus can expect similar challenges but assures them of the ultimate reward in the kingdom of heaven.
  5. Encouragement for Endurance:
    • The beatitude serves as both a recognition of the difficulties disciples may face and an encouragement to endure persecution with the assurance that their ultimate reward is in the heavenly realm.


5.11-12 Rejoice In Persecution


"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."


  1. "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me":

    • Jesus extends the idea of persecution from the previous verse, specifying various forms of mistreatment that followers of Jesus might endure. This includes insults, persecution, and false accusations specifically because of their association with Jesus.

  2. "Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven":

    • Despite the hardships and mistreatment, Jesus encourages his followers to rejoice and be glad. The reason for their joy is the assurance of a great reward in heaven. This echoes the earlier beatitudes, emphasizing the future reward for those who endure persecution for the sake of righteousness.

  3. "For in the same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you":

    • Jesus draws a parallel between the persecution his followers might face and the experiences of the prophets in the Old Testament. This comparison serves to validate the followers' suffering, connecting them to a long line of faithful servants who also faced opposition.

  4. Encouragement for Endurance and Perspective:

    • This passage serves as both a warning and an encouragement. It warns of the hardships disciples might face for their allegiance to Jesus but encourages them to maintain a perspective of joy and anticipation of the heavenly reward.

  5. Identification with the Prophets:

    • By linking the disciples' experience with that of the prophets, Jesus highlights the continuity of God's redemptive plan and the shared fate of those who faithfully proclaim His message.


5.13 Salt Of The Earth


"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."


  1. "You are the salt of the earth": Jesus is addressing his disciples and, by extension, all believers. The metaphor of salt implies that followers of Christ have a significant and positive impact on the world.

  2. "But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?": Salt, in its natural state, is a preservative and a flavor enhancer. If it loses these qualities, it becomes ineffective. Similarly, Jesus is cautioning his followers against losing their distinctive qualities, such as righteousness, love, and moral purity. If believers lose these qualities, they may become ineffective in influencing the world for good.

  3. "It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot": This emphasizes the seriousness of maintaining one's spiritual vitality and moral integrity. If believers lose their distinctiveness and fail to live out the teachings of Jesus, they risk becoming ineffective in their role as positive influencers in the world.


5.14-16 Light Of The World


"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 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. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."


  1. "You are the light of the world": Jesus addresses his followers, referring to them as the "light of the world." This metaphor signifies the role and impact that believers are meant to have in the world—a positive, illuminating influence.

  2. "A town built on a hill cannot be hidden": The imagery of a town on a hill emphasizes visibility. Similarly, followers of Jesus are meant to stand out in their actions and conduct, making a noticeable impact on the world around them.

  3. "Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl": This illustrates the absurdity of lighting a lamp and then hiding its light. Instead, lamps are meant to be placed on a stand, allowing their light to fill the room. Likewise, believers are called to let their positive influence be seen by others.

  4. "Let your light shine before others": Jesus encourages his followers not to hide their faith or good deeds but to let their light shine. This involves living out their faith in a way that positively impacts those around them.

  5. "That they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven": The ultimate purpose of letting one's light shine is not self-glorification but to bring glory to God. When people see the good deeds of believers, it should lead them to recognize and glorify God, acknowledging the source of the believers' inspiration and goodness.


5.17-20 Christ Fulfills The Law


"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 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. 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. 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."


  1. Not to abolish but to fulfill: Jesus clarifies that his purpose is not to abolish the Law (referring to the Jewish law and teachings of the prophets) but to fulfill them. His coming represents the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies and the true embodiment of God's intended meaning behind the law.
  2. The enduring nature of the Law: Jesus emphasizes the enduring significance of the Law, stating that not the smallest detail will disappear until everything is accomplished. This underscores the importance and timeless relevance of God's moral and ethical principles.
  3. Importance of obedience and teaching: Jesus speaks about the significance of following and teaching the commandments. Those who both practice and teach God's commands will be honored in the kingdom of heaven. Conversely, those who disregard and teach others to do the same will be considered least.
  4. Surpassing the righteousness of the Pharisees: Jesus sets a high standard for righteousness, stating that his followers must exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees and teachers of the law. The Pharisees were known for their meticulous adherence to religious practices, but Jesus calls for a righteousness that goes beyond mere external observance, emphasizing a genuine and heart-deep commitment to God's will.


5.21-26 Murder Starts In The Heart


"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: 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. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 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. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing."


  1. Anger and Judgment (verses 21-22): Jesus contrasts the commandment "You shall not murder" with a higher standard. He says that not only is the act of murder wrong, but even harboring anger or contempt toward a brother or sister is also subject to judgment. Using derogatory terms like "Raca" or calling someone a "fool" is also condemned.

  2. Reconciliation (verses 23-24): Jesus emphasizes the importance of reconciliation. If someone is offering a gift at the altar and remembers that there is unresolved conflict with a brother or sister, they should leave the gift and go first to be reconciled with that person before returning to offer the gift.

  3. Settle Matters Quickly (verses 25-26): Jesus advises settling disputes quickly with an adversary. This emphasizes the urgency of resolving conflicts before they escalate. The warning about being handed over to the judge and thrown into prison underscores the seriousness of unresolved issues.


5.27-30 Adultery Starts With The Heart


"Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 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. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it 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."


  1. Adultery and Lust (verses 27-28): Jesus begins by referring to the commandment "You shall not commit adultery." He then goes beyond the external act and addresses the internal aspect of the issue. Jesus teaches that even looking at a person with lustful intent is equivalent to committing adultery in the heart. This underscores the importance of purity not only in actions but also in thoughts and desires.

  2. Radical Measures (verses 29-30): Jesus uses strong, metaphorical language to emphasize the seriousness of dealing with sin. He says that if your eye or hand causes you to stumble (leads you into sin), it is better to take radical action, even to the point of removing or cutting off that part of your body, rather than allowing sin to lead you astray. This imagery is not meant to be taken literally but rather underscores the urgency and severity of addressing sin in one's life. It emphasizes the importance of radical steps to avoid moral failure.


5.31-32 Issues With Divorce


"It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 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."


  1. Reference to the Law (verse 31): Jesus starts by referring to the existing Mosaic Law found in Deuteronomy 24:1, which allowed a man to give his wife a certificate of divorce under certain circumstances.

  2. Jesus' Teaching on Divorce (verse 32): Jesus introduces a stricter standard than the Mosaic Law. He states that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality (often translated as "marital unfaithfulness" or "adultery"), causes her to become a victim of adultery. In other words, Jesus is saying that divorce, except in cases of marital unfaithfulness, leads to an unjust situation where the divorced woman may be wrongly considered an adulteress if she remarries.

  3. Warning Against Marrying a Divorced Woman (verse 32): Jesus also warns against marrying a divorced woman, stating that doing so would result in committing adultery. This is likely intended to discourage entering into relationships that may have originated from an unjust divorce.


5.33-37 Being Intentional With Words


"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: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil."


  1. Reference to the Law (verse 33): Jesus begins by referencing an Old Testament command about keeping oaths and fulfilling vows (likely referring to passages like Leviticus 19:12 and Numbers 30:2).
  2. Jesus' Teaching on Oaths (verses 34-36): Jesus goes beyond the external observance of oaths and emphasizes the importance of truthfulness in speech. He advises against making oaths using various elements, such as heaven, earth, Jerusalem, or even one's own head. The point is that all these things ultimately belong to God, and using them to validate oaths doesn't add any weight to one's words.
  3. Simply 'Yes' or 'No' (verse 37): Jesus encourages a straightforward and honest communication style. His teaching is summed up in the statement that all you need to say is 'Yes' or 'No.' Anything beyond this, like elaborate oaths, is unnecessary and may even be influenced by evil.


5.38-39 An Eye For An Eye


"Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 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.


  1. Reference to the Law of Retaliation (verse 38): Jesus begins by referencing the principle of "eye for eye, and tooth for tooth." This principle, known as lex talionis, was part of the Old Testament law and was intended to limit retaliation to proportionate measures.
  2. Jesus' Teaching on Non-Retaliation (verse 39): Jesus goes beyond the law and introduces a radical concept of non-retaliation. He instructs his followers not to resist an evil person. Instead of responding to an offense with equal force, he encourages a response that defies the natural inclination for retaliation.
  3. Turning the Other Cheek (verse 39): The example Jesus provides is symbolic. If someone slaps you on the right cheek, turning the other cheek is not necessarily a passive acceptance of abuse but a symbolic act challenging the aggressor. In the cultural context of that time, a backhanded slap on the right cheek was a demeaning act. By turning the other cheek, one challenges the oppressor to either strike with an open hand or to treat the person as an equal.


This teaching emphasizes the principles of humility, non-violence, and the willingness to endure personal injustice without seeking revenge. It's important to note that this teaching is about personal offenses and does not negate the role of justice in societal contexts.


5.40-42 Having Generosity


"And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away."


  1. Surrendering Your Shirt and Coat (verse 40): Jesus uses hyperbolic language to illustrate the principle of generosity and non-resistance. If someone wants to sue you for your shirt, give them your coat as well. In this cultural context, a coat was often a more valuable possession than a shirt.
  2. Going the Extra Mile (verse 41): Jesus refers to the practice of Roman soldiers compelling civilians to carry their gear for one mile. Jesus advises going beyond the required mile, voluntarily offering assistance and demonstrating a willingness to endure inconvenience for the sake of others.
  3. Generosity and Open-handedness (verse 42): Jesus emphasizes a generous and open-handed attitude. He encourages giving to those who ask and not turning away from those who seek to borrow. This teaching reflects a mindset of selflessness and a willingness to share resources with those in need. Not to be confused with verses like Proverbs 11:15 where one is to not cosign on another person's debt.


5.43-47 Demonstrating God's Love For Enemies


"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 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; 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. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?"


  1. Contrast with Old Testament Teaching (verse 43): Jesus begins by contrasting his teaching with a common interpretation of the Old Testament command to "love your neighbor" (Leviticus 19:18). The added phrase, "hate your enemy," is not a direct quote from the Old Testament but may have been a common sentiment.
  2. Love Your Enemies (verse 44): Jesus challenges the conventional understanding by instructing his followers to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them. This teaching goes beyond societal expectations and demonstrates a radical form of love that transcends personal feelings and circumstances.
  3. Imitating God's Boundless Love (verses 45-47): Jesus provides a reason for this radical love—emulating the boundless love of God. He points out that God's goodness is extended to both the evil and the good, and rain falls on both the righteous and the unrighteous. Therefore, Jesus urges his followers to display a similar indiscriminate love.
    • He questions the significance of loving only those who love you or greeting only your own people, suggesting that even tax collectors and pagans can do the same. The call is for a higher, transformative love that reflects God's character.


5.48 Be Perfect As Your Father Is Perfect


"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."


  1. Call to Perfection: Jesus instructs his followers to "be perfect." The term "perfect" in this context comes from the Greek word "teleios," which means complete, mature, or whole. It implies a sense of fullness or reaching the intended goal. It doesn't necessarily mean sinless perfection, which is unattainable for humans, but rather a completeness or maturity in one's character and conduct.
  2. Comparison to the Heavenly Father: The standard for perfection is set by God Himself. Jesus says, "as your heavenly Father is perfect." This emphasizes the divine standard of righteousness and calls believers to model their lives after the character of God.
  3. Imitating God's Attributes: The perfection Jesus speaks of involves imitating the attributes of God, particularly in the context of the preceding verses where he discusses love, forgiveness, and treating others with kindness, even enemies. It's about embodying the divine qualities of mercy, love, and grace.
  4. Transformation through God's Grace: While the call to perfection may seem daunting, it's important to understand that this is not a call to achieve perfection in one's strength. It is a recognition that true transformation comes through a relationship with God and the work of His grace in a believer's life.