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Chapter 5

Matthew 5 Commentary

Please choose a passage

Matthew 5:1-2 meaning

After observing the large crowds, Jesus withdraws to a mountainside and His disciples follow Him. Jesus then begins to teach His disciples. What follows in chapters 5-7 is traditionally called the “Sermon on the Mount.”

Matthew 5:3 meaning

The first statement (A) of Jesus’s chiasm focuses on having a realistic opinion of one’s self.

Matthew 5:3-10 meaning

Jesus begins the "Sermon on the Mount" with a chiasm commonly known as the Beatitudes. To describe the citizens of His Kingdom, Jesus repeats the word "Blessed" (Makarios) - a total sense of fulfillment. The central characteristic of these citizens are righteousness (social harmony) and mercy (compassionate generosity).

Matthew 5:4 meaning

The second statement (B) of Jesus’s chiasm focuses on mourning as an expression of repentance.

Matthew 5:5 meaning

The third statement (C) of Jesus’s chiasm focuses on humility and meekness.

Matthew 5:6 meaning

(D) is the first central theme of Jesus’s chiasm. It focuses on the path to gain and desire to possess social harmony and righteousness.

Matthew 5:7 meaning

Jesus’s statement is the second central theme of Jesus’s chiasm. It focuses on Jesus’s Kingdom platform of the mercy principle: Be merciful and receive mercy.

Matthew 5:8 meaning

The sixth statement (C’) of Jesus’s chiasm focuses on inner purity (purity of heart).

Matthew 5:9 meaning

The seventh statement (B’) of Jesus’s chiasm focuses on being a peacemaker.

Matthew 5:10-12 meaning

The eighth and final statement (A’) of Jesus’s Makarios chiasm deals with being righteously persecuted. Jesus reiterates this point by telling His disciples that God will reward them for their righteous living in the face of persecution.

Matthew 5:13-16 meaning

Following the chiasm often called the “Beatitudes” Jesus uses the metaphors of ‘salt’ and ‘light’ to describe His disciples and the impact they are to have upon this world.

Matthew 5:17-20 meaning

Jesus tells His disciples that He is not abolishing the law, but fulfilling what Moses and the prophets taught. However, He makes clear that professional law-keepers have insufficient righteousness to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:21-22 meaning

Jesus says that righteousness is a matter of both outwardly following the Law and inwardly reflecting the spirit behind the law. Acting in violence and harboring violent attitudes results in disharmony (unrighteousness).

Matthew 5:23-24 meaning

Concluding His example of how anger is a demonstration of disharmony (unrighteousness), Jesus shares a way this can be applied.

Matthew 5:25-26 meaning

Reconciliation is important not just for your brother, but also for someone with whom you have a dispute. Settling a wrong quickly avoids consequences that are more severe.

Matthew 5:27-28 meaning

Jesus teaches that the external sin of adultery and the internal sin of lust are both violations of God’s Covenant.

Matthew 5:29-30 meaning

Jesus uses two graphic metaphors—it is better for disciples to pluck out their eyes and cut off their hands—as a way to memorably express an important truth. It is better to deny yourself in this life for His sake than to miss living life in His kingdom and enjoying its incredible benefits.

Matthew 5:31-32 meaning

Jesus closes a loophole that men used to exploit Moses’s teaching on divorce.

Matthew 5:33-37 meaning

Jesus demonstrates that righteousness and harmony is not a matter of oaths, but plain honesty and simple truth-telling.

Matthew 5:38-42 meaning

Jesus flips the world system of ‘justice’ on its head. He tells His disciples to seek out opportunities to serve rather than looking for opportunities to exact payback under the letter of the law.