Matthew 5:27-48 The Message Bible

Jesus' Attitude toward Adultery

27  "You know the next commandment pretty well, too: 'Don't go to bed with another's spouse.' 28  But don't think you've preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed. Your heart can be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body. Those leering looks you think nobody notices - they also corrupt. 29  "Let's not pretend this is easier than it really is. If you want to live a morally pure life, here's what you have to do: You have to blind your right eye the moment you catch it in a lustful leer. You have to choose to live one-eyed or else be dumped on a moral trash pile. 30  And you have to chop off your right hand the moment you notice it raised threateningly. Better a bloody stump than your entire being discarded for good in the dump.

Jesus' Attitude toward Divorce

31  "Remember the Scripture that says, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him do it legally, giving her divorce papers and her legal rights'? 32  Too many of you are using that as a cover for selfishness and whim, pretending to be righteous just because you are 'legal.' Please, no more pretending. If you divorce your wife, you're responsible for making her an adulteress (unless she has already made herself that by sexual promiscuity). And if you marry such a divorced adulteress, you're automatically an adulterer yourself. You can't use legal cover to mask a moral failure.

Jesus' Attitude toward Oaths

33  "And don't say anything you don't mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. 34  You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, 'I'll pray for you,' and never doing it, or saying, 'God be with you,' and not meaning it. You don't make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. 35   36   37  Just say 'yes' and 'no.' When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.

Love for Enemies

38  "Here's another old saying that deserves a second look: 'Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.' 39  Is that going to get us anywhere? Here's what I propose: 'Don't hit back at all.' If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. 40  If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. 41  And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. 42  No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.

43  "You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' 44  I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, 45  for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best - the sun to warm and the rain to nourish - to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. 46  If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. 47  If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. 48  "In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.

Add Another Translation