Aspiration

“You’ve heard it said: ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ explained Jesus, as he taught, “but I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So if your right eye causes you to offend, metaphorically pluck it out and throw it away, because it’s better for you that part of your body should perish than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to offend, metaphorically cut it off and throw it away, because it’s better for you that part of your body should perish than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

“You have heard it said : ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, unless she’s been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

“You’ve also heard that our ancestors were told: ‘Do not break your vows, but carry out the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, don’t swear an oath at all. Don’t swear by heaven, because it’s God’s throne. And don’t swear by the earth, because it’s his footstool. And don’t say by Jerusalem, because it’s the city of the great King. And don’t swear by your head, because you can’t turn one hair black or white. Just give a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Anything more than this comes only from evil.

“You’ve heard it said: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, don’t resist evil. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. And if you’re sued in court and they want to take your shirt, give them your coat as well. If anyone compels you to walk a mile, go with him two. Give to anyone who asks, and don’t turn away from the one who wants to borrow.

“You’ve heard it said: ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy’. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Then you will be true children of your Father in heaven, because causes the sun to rise on both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. For if you only love those who love you, what credit to you is that? Don’t even the tax collectors do as much? And if you only greet your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Don’t even the heathen do that? But aspire to perfection, as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

Matthew

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