This is some pretty radical stuff, much of which goes against current accepted thinking.
I can only imagine how crazy people must have thought it sounds way back when Jesus first said it.
Just remember, as you read this, that these are direct quotes from Jesus...
20 Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said,
"God blesses you who are poor,
for the Kingdom of God is yours.
21 God blesses you who are hungry now,
for you will be satisfied.
God blesses you who weep now,
for in due time you will laugh.
22 What blessings await you when people hate you
and exclude you
and mock you
and curse you as evil
because you follow the Son of Man.
23 When that happens, be happy!
Yes, leap for joy!
For a great reward awaits you in heaven.
And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.
24 "What sorrow awaits you who are rich,
for you have your only happiness now.
25 What sorrow awaits you who are fat and prosperous now,
for a time of awful hunger awaits you.
What sorrow awaits you who laugh now,
for your laughing will turn to mourning and sorrow.
26 What sorrow awaits you who are praised by the crowds,
for their ancestors also praised false prophets.
27 "But to you who are willing to listen, I say,
love your enemies!
Do good to those who hate you.
28 Bless those who curse you.
Pray for those who hurt you.
29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also.
If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also.
30 Give to anyone who asks;
and when things are taken away from you, don't try to get them back.
31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you.
32 "If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that?
Even sinners love those who love them!
33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit?
Even sinners do that much!
34 And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get
Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.
35 "Love your enemies!
Do good to them.
Lend to them without expecting to be repaid.
Then your reward from heaven will be very great,
and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High,
for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.
36 You must be compassionate,
just as your Father is compassionate.
37 "Do not judge others,
and you will not be judged.
Do not condemn others,
or it will all come back against you.
and you will be forgiven.
and you will receive.
Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap.
The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.
Like I said... radical thinking then, equally or more radical thinking for today.
I saw a LOT of things we believe & operate in as people, a culture, a nation, & a world kinda shot to pieces here.
How then should we live since Jesus said these things?