Daily Bible Reading

September 1, 2023

Matthew 5:1-20(GNT)

God’s Saving Word: Wisdom


Matthew 5:1-20: Today’s reading introduces a section in Matthew’s Gospel often referred to as the “Sermon on the Mount” (5:1—7:29).  The sermon begins with blessings and teachings (verses 3-16) and with Jesus describing a vision of God’s realm. What Jesus teaches constitutes a description of an alternative community— one that stands in sharp contrast to an imperial empire that values power, wealth, and status.

Scripture Reading

The Sermon on the Mount

Jesus saw the crowds and went up a hill, where he sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them:

True Happiness

“Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor;
    the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!
“Happy are those who mourn;
    God will comfort them!
“Happy are those who are humble;
    they will receive what God has promised!
“Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires;
    God will satisfy them fully!
“Happy are those who are merciful to others;
    God will be merciful to them!
“Happy are the pure in heart;
    they will see God!
“Happy are those who work for peace;
    God will call them his children!
10 “Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires;
    the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!

11 “Happy are you when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of evil lies against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy and glad, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven. This is how the prophets who lived before you were persecuted.

Salt and Light

13 “You are like salt for the whole human race. But if salt loses its saltiness, there is no way to make it salty again. It has become worthless, so it is thrown out and people trample on it.

14 “You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead it is put on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house. 16 In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.

Teaching about the Law

17 “Do not think that I have come to do away with the Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets. I have not come to do away with them, but to make their teachings come true. 18 Remember that as long as heaven and earth last, not the least point nor the smallest detail of the Law will be done away with—not until the end of all things. 19 So then, whoever disobeys even the least important of the commandments and teaches others to do the same, will be least in the Kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys the Law and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the Kingdom of heaven. 20 I tell you, then, that you will be able to enter the Kingdom of heaven only if you are more faithful than the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees in doing what God requires.

Today’s Key Verse: Matthew 5:16

[Jesus said:] “In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.”


Verses 3-12 are often referred to as Beatitudes.  In several Bible translations, these nine statements begin with the word “blessed.” The word “beatitude” is another word for “blessing” (or true happiness) and declares God’s favor. Reread these verses. Whom does God favor? Why? What do they say to you about how the realm of God is envisioned? What do you think it means to be “salt for the whole human race” (verse 13) and “light for the whole world” (verse 14)?


Lord Jesus, thank you for teaching me about God’s love. Help me to follow you and to be salt and light so that others will come to know you. May my actions this day reflect your teachings and give glory to God. Amen.

Tomorrow’s Reading

Matthew 5:21-48:  Jesus sheds new light on the Scriptures.

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