Basically as I go through any book that I read, I underline interesting ideas/quotes/paragraphs and then later come back through the book to get the lessons gleaned from these underpinnings and try to figure out what they mean to me and apply them to my own life.
Here were the most interesting lessons in the book for me:
Whereas I tell you not to oppose the wicked man by force; rather, whosoever strikes you upon the right cheek, turn to him the other as well; And to him who wishes to bring a judgment against you, so he may take away your tunic, give him your cloak as well.
For if you love only those who love you, what recompense do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing that is extraordinary? Do not even the gentiles do the same? So be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
And when you fast do not adopt a sullen countenance, as do those who are playacting; for they disfigure their faces so that it is apparent to men that the are fasting; amen, I tell you, they have their recompense in full. But when you fast anoint your head and wash your face. So that you show yourself to be fasting not to men, but rather to your Father who is in secret; and your Father, who watches what is secret, will reward you.
But who among you can, by worrying, lengthen the span of his life by a single cubit?
So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself; each day has enough evil of it’s own.
And why do you look at the straw in your brother’s eye, yet do not perceive, the beam in your own eye?
How is that you will say to your brother “let me take that straw of your eye” and look: the beam is in your eye?
Charlatan, first pluck the beam out of your eye, and then you will see clearly how to pluck the straw out of your brother’s eye.
Therefore, all such things as you wish men might do to you, so do to them as well.
Beware of false prophets, who to come to garbed as sheep, but who are ravenous wolves within. You will know them from their fruits. Persons do not gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they?
So every good person produces good fruits, but the diseased tree produces bad fruits.
Everyone therefore who hears these sayings of mine and enacts them shall be likened to a prudent man who built his house upon rock.
And the person who does not enact them shall be likened to a foolish man who built his house upon sand.
For what will it profit a man if he should gain the whole cosmos but lose his soul?
The disciples privately asked Jesus “why were we not able to exorcize it?”
He said to them “Because of your little faith for amen I tell you if you possess as much as a mustard seed you will say to this mountain “Move from here to there” and it will move, and nothing will be impossible to you.
A man was unable to make repayment, the master commanded he be sold. Then the man fell down and made obeisance to him, saying “Be patient toward me, and I shall repay you everything”
And the man’s master forgave him his loan. But going out that man found one of his fellow men who owed him a hundred denarii and seized hold of and throttled him saying “pay me everything you owe” and the man fell down and implored “be patient toward me, and I shall repay you”
He would not though but went off and threw him into debtors prison.
The first man heard of this and found the second man and said “You wicked man, I forgave you all that debt after you implored me, should you not also have mercy on your fellow man, even as I had mercy on you?
And the man delivered him to the debtors prison.
“For many are called, but few are chosen.”
“Whoever will exalt himself will be humbled, and whoever will humble himself will be exalted.”
“Return your sword to it’s place, for all who take up a sword will be destroyed by a sword.”
“A prophet is not dishonored except in his native country and among his own kin and in his household.”
There is nothing from outside a man that, entering into him, can defile him, but rather the things that come forth from a man are what defile him.
Give to everyone who asks and do not ask back from the one taking your things.
And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks have you?
Even sinners lend to sinners in order that they may receive an equal return.
Can a blind man guide a blind man? Will not both fall into a pit?
And I tell you, ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.
For everyone asking receives, and the one seeking finds, and to the one knocking it will be opened.
And what father among you, if his son will ask for a fish, will hand him a snake instead of a fish?
Or again, if he will ask for an egg, will instead had him a scorpion?
No one having lit a lamp sets it in a hidden plane or under the dry-goods basket, but rather on the lamp stand, so that those coming in may see the radiance.
The body’s lamp is your eye. When your eye is pure, your whole body is luminous; but when it is baleful, your body is dark also.
Keep watch, therefore that the light in you is not darkness.
If, therefore, your whole body is luminous, having no part dark at all, it will be wholly luminous, as when the lamp illuminates you with it’s shining.
There is nothing thoroughly veiled that will not be unveiled, or hidden that will not be known.
Thus the things you said in darkness will be heard in light, and what you whisper in private rooms will be proclaimed on the rooftops.
But know this, if the master of the house knew in what hour the thief comes, he would not have allowed his house to be breach. And you, be prepared, because the Son of Man comes in an hour you do not expect.
When you are invited by someone to wedding festivities, do not recline at the best place at the table, in case someone more honored than you has been invited by him, And the one who invited both you and him will come and say to you “Give place to this man” and you then will proceed to take the last place.
Rather when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes he will say to you “Friend, go up to a higher place” then there will be glory for you before everyone reclining at the table with you.
For everyone exalting himself will be humbled, and the one humbling himself will be exalted.
Whoever is faithful in the least thing is also faithful in much, and whoever is dishonest in the least thing is also dishonest in much.
“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? How hard for you to kick against goads.” And I said “Who are you Lord?” And the Lord said “I am Jesus, whom you persecute. But stand on your feet, for it is for this that I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness, both of the things you have seen of me and of the things I shall make appear to you.
(Turning enemy into friends. Not attacking people, befriending them.)**
So you are without defense, O man——everyone who judges—for in that you judge another you condemn yourself; because you who judge engage in the same practices.
“Do you who teach another not therefore teach yourself?”
If possible be at peace with all human beings.
If your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts give him drink; for in doing this you will heap coals of fire on his head.
Do not be vanquished by evil, but vanquish the evil with the good.
Let no one deceive himself: if anyone among you thinks to be a wise man in this age, let him become foolish in order to become wise.
When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we politely entreat. We have become like the refuse of the cosmos, like the scurf of all things, right up till now.
To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak; I became all things to all persons, that in every case I might gain some of them. But I do everything for the sake of the good tidings, that I might become a co-partake therof.
No temptation has seized you other than what is human; but God is faithful, he who will not let you be tempted beyond your capacity, but who along with the temptation will furnish the way out, so that you may be able to endure.
Be zealous for greater gifts of grace.
And to you I show a yet more excellent path.
Not looking to things seen but instead to things not seen; for the things seen are for but a season, but the things not seen are of the Age.