Here Jesus contrasts his new law with commands from the old Law of Moses. While the Old Law focused on personal conduct, the New Law of Christ focused on both conduct and motive. Christ's law is one of the heart.
Fulfilling the Old Law
Matthew 5:17-20Don't think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn't come to destroy, but to fulfill. 18For most certainly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished.
19Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 5:21-22You have heard that it was said to the ancient ones,'You shall not murder; and 'Whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.' 22But I tell you that everyone who is angry with his brother without a cause will be in danger of the judgment. Whoever says to his brother,'Raca! will be in danger of the council. Whoever says, You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of Gehenna.
Reconcile your differences
Matthew 5:23-26If therefore you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are with him on the way; lest perhaps the prosecutor deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison. 26Most certainly I tell you, you shall by no means get out of there, until you have paid the last penny.
Matthew 5:27-30You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery; 28but I tell you that everyone who gazes at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna. 30If your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off, and throw it away from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members should perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.
Matthew 5:30-31It was also said, 'Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorce, 32but I tell you that whoever puts away his wife, except for the cause of sexual immorality, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries her when she is put away commits adultery.
Making false vows
Matthew 5:33-37Again you have heard that it was said to the ancient ones, 'You shall not make false vows, but shall perform to the Lord your vows, 34but I tell you, don't swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God; 35nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36Neither shall you swear by your head, for you can't make one hair white or black. 37But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No' be 'No.'Whatever is more than these is of the evil one.
Go the extra mile
Matthew 5:38-42You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. 39But I tell you, don't resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40If anyone sues you to take away your coat, let him have your cloak also. 41Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42Give to him who asks you, and don't turn away him who desires to borrow from you.
Love your neighbor
Matthew 5:43-48You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, 45that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible.