27 “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’[a]28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.29 So if your eye—even your good eye[b]—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.30 And if your hand—even your stronger hand[c]—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
Teaching about Divorce
31 “You have heard the law that says, ‘A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.’[d]32 But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.
Teaching about Vows
33 “You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord.’[e]34 But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne.35 And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King.36 Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black.37 Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.
Teaching about Revenge
38 “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’[f]39 But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.40 If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too.41 If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile,[g] carry it two miles.42 Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.
Teaching about Love for Enemies
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’[h] and hate your enemy.44 But I say, love your enemies![i] Pray for those who persecute you!45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.47 If you are kind only to your friends,[j] how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
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