20 For I tell you this: you will not enter the kingdom of heaven unless your righteousness goes deeper than the Pharisees’, even more righteous than the most learned learner of the law.
Righteousness is the reason Jesus has come—to make the people righteous through and through. He then begins to interpret the law of Scripture for them with this in mind.
21 As you know, long ago God instructed Moses to tell His people, “Do not murder;[a] those who murder will be judged and punished.” 22 But here is the even harder truth: anyone who is angry with his brother will be judged for his anger. Anyone who taunts his friend, speaks contemptuously toward him, or calls him “Loser” or “Fool” or “Scum,” will have to answer to the high court. And anyone who calls his brother a fool may find himself in the fires of hell.
23 Therefore, if you are bringing an offering to God and you remember that your brother is angry at you or holds a grudge against you, 24 then leave your gift before the altar, go to your brother, repent and forgive one another, be reconciled, and then return to the altar to offer your gift to God.
25 If someone sues you, settle things with him quickly. Talk to him as you are walking to court; otherwise, he may turn matters over to the judge, and the judge may turn you over to an officer, and you may land in jail. 26 I tell you this: you will not emerge from prison until you have paid your last penny.
English Standard Version
21 (C)“You have heard that it was said to those of old, (D)‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable (E)to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that (F)everyone who is angry with his brother[a] will be liable (G)to judgment; whoever insults[b] his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to (H)the hell[c] of fire. 23 (I)So if (J)you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 (K)Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, (L)you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.[d]Read full chapter