Christ Speaking -- Matthew

This list shows the "spoken version" of each verse of Christ's words in Matthew. It adds interactions with audiences, pauses, and other interactions you would see in a spoken presentation. The word order follows the order of the original Greek much more closely than other English so that the humor works correctly, especially the punch lines. This work is being done as part of a new version capturing the Gospel of Matthew from a different perspective.

Mat 3:15

In response to John's concern with propriety, he said, "Just let it go."

Then he gestured to the surrounding crowd.

"Because this is how," he said with a flourish. "Being conspicuous, it is for us."

Then he bent down to the water and lifted a some water in one cupped hand.

"It fulfills," he said, sprinkling it out. "All the requirements of the law."

Mat 4:4:

Answering this test, he said with a chuckle, "It has written itself."
Stooping to pick up a rock, he put it to his mouth, as if to take a bite.

"People aren't nourished only by food," he explained, pausing in his motion.

Then looking at the rock as if suddenly seeing what it was, he dropped it suddenly.

"But by every lesson..." he said gesturing to the sky around him and spinning around, "From the opening of the Divine."

Mat 4:7

He shook his head and smiled.

"Again," he said as a teacher addressing a student. "It has written itself!"

"You can't even attempt, " he said, smiling as he shook his finger. "To test a master!

Then gesturing again to the sky above, he added, "Your Divinity!"

Mat 4:10

"Remove opposition" he said as a jolly dismissal.

He held of a finger as if explaining a point.
"This is the rule," he said.
Because this is the rule:
"You are going to bow," he said with a bow. "And praise your master, the Divine."

"And," he added casually. "You are going to work only for him."

Mat 4:17

He walk down the street announcing. "Turn yourselves around! Turn yourselves around!"

As they turned to see what he was talking about, he gestured to the sky with both hands.

"Because the realm of the stars...." he said, as if answering a question. "Is getting awfully close."

Mat 4:19

He beckoned to a group of fishermen, gesturing them to follow.

"Come aong with me," he said with a smile. "And I am going to remake you."

He gestured toward the general, and said, "Into light workers of humanity."

Mat 5:3

“Lucky! The beggars!” He said in a cheerful tenor, indicating a group of beggars who were seated near the stage area.
Many laughed at the idea of beggars being lucky.
“For the breath of life,” he continued earnestly, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath. He spoke the common tongue like a local, but with a slight accent.
“Because theirs is,—the realm of the skies!”” he said happily.

Mat 5:4

The teacher moved toward a pair of widows dressed for mourning.
“Lucky! Those in mourning!” He said warmly, indicating the women.
Some in the crowd chuckled at the idea of people in mourning being lucky. Others shushed them.
“Because,” the speaker explained, holding the women’s outstretched hands. “They themselves are going to be summoned.”

Mat 5:5

A group of children pressed toward him, their parents trailing behind. A little girl dashed out and held her arms toward the speaker to be picked up. The speaker obliged with a smiling nod to her parents who were trying to catch her.
“Lucky!” He announced once more. “The malleable ones!” He held up the child for the crowd to see. “Because they themselves are going to inherit—,” He paused as he moved toward the child’s parents.
“The realm of the skies?” Several in the crowd suggested.
He smiled, shook his head, no. He put the child in the arms of her mother.
“The earth!” He said, spreading his arms wide to indicate the lands around them.

Mat 5:6

He then moved on toward a group of foreigners. They had a large basket of bread loaves and several full wineskins lying in front of them.
“Lucky, the hungry!” He said indicating their food and drink.
Many laughed at the idea of the well-fed foreigners being hungry.
One of the foreigners offered the speaker a wineskin.
“And the thirsty!” The speaker added, raising the wineskin and squirting some wine into his mouth.
This generated even more laughter, but there were several Militants in the crowd. They reacted badly, shouting abuse against the foreigners.
“For justice?” The speaker asked. “Because,” he added playfully, gesturing to include both the foreigners and the Militants, “they are going to get their fill.”

Mat 5:7

The speaker returned the wineskin to its owner. Meanwhile, the foreign women started passing out bread to some nearby children.
“Lucky,” he said, indicating these women. “Are those who are merciful.”
Again, the Militants made complaining noises.
“Because,” he said, indicating again both the foreigners and the Militants. “They themselves are going to receive mercy.”

Mat 5:8

The smiling teacher quickly made his way toward a group of prostitutes. They were seated near the tax collectors and other detestables. Two of these women were clearly pregnant.
“Lucky!” The teacher announced, taking these soon-to-be mothers by the hand. He had them stand so the crowd could see them. The women blushed. “The pure!” He said.
While many laughed, others registered their objections.
“Of heart!” The speaker amended touching his own heart. “For they themselves, are going to see—.” He laid his hands on their large bellies and said, “The divine!”

Mat 5:9

The audience was quiet, watching, but a few from a group of Isolationists were clearly shocked. As the speaker helped the pregnant women sit down again, two young Isolationists started complaining and getting up. A pair of their elders pulled them back down again and quieted them.
The speaker moved toward the group.
“Lucky!” The speaker continued, indicating the two Isolationist elders. “Those who maintain the peace.” He helped the old men stand up. “Seeing that they are themselves—,” he said, indicating their long, grey beards to the crowd. “Children—”
The crowd, including the Isolationists, both young and old, laughed.
“Of the divine!” The teacher continued. Then he added with certainty, “They are going to be called!”

Mat 5:10

The speaker moved toward a nearby group of Ascetics. “Lucky!” He continued cheerfully, “those who hound themselves—for the sake of virtue!” He indicated the scrawny, roughly dressed men.”
The crowd, including the Ascetics themselves, chuckled at the characterization.
“Because theirs is—the realm of the skies!”

Mat 5:11

“Lucky are you all,” the speaker announced to his audience. “When they criticize you and harass you and proclaim every worthless thing against you! Lying to themselves!”
He then indicated himself and said humbly, “For my sake.” He made a comical curtsy.

Mat 5:12

“Enjoy!” He said happily. “And shine!” He said, making a shimmering motion with his hands.
This drew another laugh from the crowd.
“For massive is your payment—in the skies! Since this is how,” he continued, with an easy shrug, “they might have harassed the shining lights before you.”

Mat 5:13

“You all are,” he continued affectionately, “the salt of the earth!” He tapped his temple knowingly to make it clear he was referring to the salt of their common sense. “But—” he said, striking his forehead with his palm as if something suddenly occurred to him. “What if?” He asked, “The salt is insipid? Played for a fool?”
The crowd laughed.
“In what,” the speaker demanded, “is it going to get salty?” He tapped his forehead again. “In nothing,” he said sadly. “It is worth nothing except being dumped out.” He made the motion of throwing out trash. “And being walked on by people.” He tramped around to illustrate.

Mat 5:14

“You yourselves,” he announced more seriously, “are the light of the social order. It really doesn’t have the power—,” he said pausing. “The city,” he clarified, pointing toward Jerusalem. “To be kept hidden, on top of a mountain standing for itself!

Mat 5:15

Not at all!”
Many chuckled at the idea of equating this crowd with Jerusalem.
“Do they light up a lamp,” the teacher continued, holding up an imaginary lamp, “and put it—.” He moved the imaginary lamp under his tunic, below his belly.“Beneath a bushel basket?”

Mat 5:16

“Instead,” he continued, lifting his arms, raising the imaginary lamp up high, reaching up as far has he could. He rose slowly on his tip-toes, teetering precariously as he reached out.
As he teetered on his toes, the crowd began tittering.
“On a lamp stand!” He announced triumphantly, placing his lamp. “And it lights up everyone in the house! In this way,” he continued, pointing up to his pretend lamp, “let that light of yours shine out in front of other people.”
As he said this, or perhaps right before, the sun came out from behind a cloud and blazed down so brightly that the speaker had to shield his eyes from the glare.
“So that they might see,” he said, squinting but smiling, “your worthy deeds! And, recognize your Father, the one—in the skies!”

Mat 5:17

A voice from among the Dedicated shouted, “Are you overturning our traditional laws, the writings of the shining lights?”
The crowd murmured, but the speaker smiled more broadly. Before answering, he went back to the foreigners and obtained a small loaf of bread.
“You all might not want to assume that I have shown up to tear up—,” he said as he tore off a piece of bread and held it up, “the laws or the shining lights. I really haven’t shown up to tear up—,” he said as he tore off and held up another piece of bread.
Many chuckled at the contradiction.
“But to fill up!” He announced gleefully, as he began putting the pieces of bread in his mouth.

Mat 5:18

“This is why I tell you true,” he said, using an expression that would become one of his catchphrases, “while possibly it just might pass away.”
He paused as if thinking and someone called out, “The law?” This echoed what everyone was thinking.
He smiled and shook his head, “no”, and pointed up, and said, “The sky.” Then he pointed down and added, “Also the ground.”
Many laughed, some perhaps at the idea of the whole universe being destroyed.
“An “i”, one, or apostrophe, one?” he asked mysteriously, writing them in the air with his hands, “Never it is going to pass out of the law, while...”
He paused. The crowd waited, not knowing what to expect.
“Until everything might,” he said emphasizing the possibility’, “bring itself into existence.”

Mat 5:19

“Are the Dedicated wrong when they tell us we can ignore some laws if we make offerings at the temple?” An older man called out,
“Whoever,” the speaker said, pointing toward the Dedicated from behind a concealing hand, “might relax one of these laws—the tiniest.” He said, holding out his little finger and wiggling it.
The adults in the crowd laughed. This was a common rude gesture belittling someone’s manhood.
“And he might teach the people this,” he continued. “‘The tiniest,’ he is going to be called.” He wiggled his little finger again.
This drew more laughter.
“In the realm of the skies!” The speaker added innocently, nodding up at the sky.
This made the whole crowd laugh harder.
“The one, however, who produces and teaches this?” He held up the loaf of bread. “The greatest,’ he is going to be called—in the realm of the skies!”

Mat 5:20

“Are you telling us to ignore what they tell us to do?” A young field worker near the front of the crowd asked, gesturing back toward the Dedicated.
“What am I telling you all?” The speaker asked, scratching his beard thoughtfully. “The fact is that unless you each are going to outshine yourself—your virtue surpassing that of the Academics and Dedicated—never ever are you getting into—” He paused and looked up, smiling with a twinkle in his eye.

Many in the crowd began chuckling. Most knew what was coming next.
“The realm of the skies!” He announced proudly to everyone’s satisfaction.

Mat 5:21

Many snorted while others tittered.
“At some time, you have heard that it was proclaimed by the ancients—.” He then pretended to unroll a scroll. He affected an old man’s wavering voice reading from it, “You might not want to murder. Someone who, however, might possibly murder is going to—.” The speaker paused, looking threateningly at the crowd, then screeched, “Bind himself by the decision!”

Mat 5:22

The speaker continued in his own light-hearted manner. “I, myself, however,” he said, polishing his fingers on his chest in a mock pompous way, “teach that everyone being irritated by his brother is going to—.” He paused for dramatic effect. “Bind himself by the decision.”
People chuckled.
“Who, however, might possibly say,” he continued lightly, “to that brother of his, ‘you rag’ is going to—.” Another pause. “Bind himself to the court.”

The crowd laughed. The quality of people’s clothing often determined a court’s judgment. To the courts, most of the audience would have been considered the “rags” of society.
“Someone, however,” the speaker continued in a more serious voice, “who might possibly say, ‘you moron!’ He is going to bind himself—. “ He made a tossing-out-the-trash motion. “Into the Gehenna of the fire.” The speaker pretended to shield his face from the flames, but then he held his nose as if something stunk.
Many laughed at the reference to Jerusalem’s smelly dump for burning trash, but some took this threat more seriously because of the speaker’s tone.

Mat 5:23

“Can an offering at the temple make up for my offenses against a brother?” A sad voice asked quietly.
“If you present a gift on the altar, do you make amends for yourself?” The speaker repeated for the crowd. He then silently acted out a scene of someone bringing an offering toward the temple’s altar. He suddenly stopped and hit the side of his head with his palm. “You might be reminded,” he explained, “That your brother has something against you.”

Mat 5:25

“But my ‘brother’ is taking me to court!” Another man blurted out over the applause, almost before the speaker had finished.
Both the question and the man’s abrupt manner drew some laughs.
“Be friendly to that plaintiff of yours, Speedy,” the speaker advised to the man.
This drew more laughter from the crowd.
“Until you are together with him.” The speaker knit his hands together. “In the way forward.” His intertwined hands pointed their index fingers forward. “He shouldn’t want at any time to turn you over to the judge,” he said, tugging on the shoulder of his tunic. “And the judge to the officer,” he added, tugging himself in another direction. “And, into a cell,” he said, “getting tossed.” The speaker flung himself as if he had been pushed.
People laughed.

Mat 5:26

The speaker gripped imaginary bars, stared with a woe-be-gone face at the audience, and said sadly, “Honestly, I’m telling you. Never are you getting out of there, until—possibly.” He paused. “You have turned over—. ” He reached into his belt and pulled out a copper coin. “Your last penny!” He kissed the coin good-bye and tossed it into a group of children.

Mat 5:24

“Drop it off there,” he said, pretending to put his offering on the ground, “That gift of yours, in front of the altar and take off.” He turned and walked away from his imaginary gift, checking it over his shoulder and waving good-bye to it.
Many laughed.
“First,” the speaker continued, “settle with that brother of yours.” He pretended to embrace someone. “And then coming back,” he said, pretending to pick up his imaginary gift and resuming his march to the altar, “offer the gift.” He laid his imaginary gift on the imaginary altar, bowing deeply.

Mat 5:27

“My last penny went to wine,” complained a slightly drunken voice, getting a few hoots.
“My last penny went to my wife,” said another, winning an even larger laugh.
“My last penny went to some women who weren’t my wife,” said a third joker suggestively. This won the biggest laugh of all but many groans.
The speaker was smiling, but he was also shaking his head, no.
“You have heard that it has been said—,” he repeated. Then again, switching to his old man’s voice, he pretended to read from a scroll, “‘You don’t want to betray your vows!’”

Mat 5:29

“When it comes to women, my right eye has a mind of its own!” The joker responded.
This brought guffaws from several in the crowd, but most looked to see how the teacher would react.
The speaker surprised them, grinning at the comment.
“If, however, that eye of yours—,” he answered quickly. “The right one?” He pointed to his own right eye. Then his right eye slowly began to wander as if following something while his left eye focused on the man he was addressing.
Many in the crowd noticed, pointed, and laughed.
As his eyes crossed, the speaker attempted to take a step only to stumbled.
Everyone laughed.
“Trips you up!” The speaker squawked as he staggered. Then he wagged an accusing finger at his eye angrily and said, “Pluck it out—.” He covered the offending eye with one hand while the other pretended to pull it out. “And toss it away from you.” He made a clumsy toss while still covering his right eye and grimacing in mock pain.
The people laughed at his antics.
“Because,” he explained, “it helps you when it destroys itself—.” He paused, moving his hand as if to protect his privates. “One of your—members,” he said carefully,

The audience groaned and laughed.
“And you don’t want your body,” he continued lightheartedly, “tossed into the Gehenna.” He repeated the motion of tossing out the trash followed by holding his nose and waving away an imaginary stench.

Mat 5:30

But another joker, a tall tradesman, called out, “My problem isn’t my eye! It’s my right hand!” He raised his fist and pumped it up and down suggestively.
Many laughed. Many groaned. Others booed.
“And so,” the speaker responded, smiling but sounding concerned. “If that right of yours—,” he said, holding up his own hand. “Hand and forearm.” He clarified, moving his forearm up and then down, but instead of duplicating the man’s gesture, his hand seemed to fly out of control hitting his leg. “Trips you up,” he squawked, again stumbling, and, this time, almost falling.
Again, everyone laughed.
“Lop it off!” His left hand chopped at his right forearm. Again, he grimaced comically. “And toss it away!” He repeated his tossing-out-the-trash motion one-handed.
This drew more chuckles.
“Because,” he explained, “it helps you when it destroys itself—.”
The audience began to snicker anticipating what was coming next.
“One of your—.” He paused, moving his hand very slowly down. “Members,” he squeaked.
Everyone cracked up, even the children who didn’t understand it all.
The speaker shrugged nonchalantly and continued cheerfully, “And you don’t want that whole body of yours—.” He paused, then called out, “Into the Gehenna!” Again, he made the throwing-out-the-trash gesture as he said, “It is tossed!”

Mat 5:31

“So,” the speaker responded officially, “it has been proclaimed!”
The audience laughed harder.
But after thinking for a moment, he raised his hand for silence.
Then he again pretended to open a scroll and read in his old man voice, “Whoever possibly might cut loose that woman of his, let him give her a divorce notice.”

Mat 5:32

Then several people asked about marriage and divorce. 
“So,” the speaker responded in his old man voice, “it has been proclaimed: whoever possibly might cut loose that woman of his, let him give her a divorce notice.” The speaker continued in his own voice. “I myself, however, am telling you all—that everyone cutting loose that woman of his—except for the reason of whoring—he forces her to become an adulterer.”
He paused and the crowd was silent for a moment. 

 “And if anyone marries a loosened woman,” the speaker responded easily. “He makes and adulterer of himself.”
The crowd was mostly silent to this, except those in the back who seemed angered by it. One of them called out a question about legal contracts 
 

Mat 5:28

“I myself, however, am telling you,” The speaker continued easily, with an air of braggadocio, “that everyone gazing at—,” ” He then went silent, pretending that something caught his eye. He turned his head to stare. “A woman!” He said as if in awe while drawing the shape of a woman in the air.
The crowd cackled.
“To the point of obsession,” he continued, closing his eyes for a moment with a big smile on his face. Then shaking his head as if waking, he said more seriously, “He has already betrayed his vow.” He paused and added sadly, “In his heart.”

Mat 5:33

The another woman complained loudly, “Marriage is the one promise that people can cancel with a note.”
The speaker responded more playfully. “Again, you have all heard tell that it was proclaimed by the ancients.” He then pretended to unroll another scroll. “‘Do not renege on a promise,” he read in his old man’s voice. Wagging his finger, he screeched a common line used by the Dedicated to shame people, “You each are going to give back to the Lord—those promises of yours.”

Mat 5:34

“I myself, however,” the speaker continued, pretending arrogance, “am telling you all, you don’t want—anyone of you—to swear for your own benefit at all! Neither on the sky—seeing that a judge’s bench is for the Divine.”

Mat 5:35

“Nor on the ground,” The teacher continued. “Because a footstool—,” he explained, pointing at a small mound of dirt, “is for those feet of His.” He lifted one of his feet and rested it on the mound to illustrate.This brought a chuckle from the crowd.
“We are told to seal our oaths in Jerusalem,” someone complained. “With gifts for the altar or gold for the temple!”
The speaker nodded his head in recognition of the practice.
“Nor in Jerusalem,” he responded, “Because a city is for—the great,” he proclaimed in a grand manner, “A king!”

Mat 5:36

“Don’t our oaths fall upon our own heads?” A man in the crowd asked indicating his head of gray hair.
“Nor should you swear on that head of yours,” the speaker suggested cheerily. “Seeing that you really don’t have the power to make a single hair—.” He indicated the questioner’s head. “Gray, or—.” He plucked a hair from his own head, showing it to the crowd. “Dark!” He said as if in pain, rubbing his head.

Mat 5:37

“Stand up for yourselves!” He continued. “It must be—that thinking of yours—Yes!” He said nodding his head enthusiastically. “Or really no!” He added shaking his head just as enthusiastically. “Because more than this is from—.” Using one hand to hide an accusing finger pointed at the Dedicated, he said, “The worthless!”

Mat 5:38

“So if people don’t keep their word to us,” someone suggested, “can we beat them up?”
The crowd again both laughed and groaned.
The speaker smiled but again shook his head, no.
“You have heard tell that it was proclaimed,” he said again pretending to unroll a scroll. “An eye in return for an eye,” he read happily squeaking in his old man’s voice while giving the audience a wink.
The audience chuckled.
“And—.” He held his jaw as if in pain. “A tooth in return for a tooth.” He said as if his tongue was swollen.

Mat 5:39

“I myself, however,” the speaker said, thumping his chest, “am telling you all, you do not want to compare—.” He pretended to pluck out an eye with one hand and a tooth with the other. He held both hands out to the crowd, palms up, as if balancing a scale. “The worthless!” He announced, tossing both away casually over his shoulders.
The audience laughed and clapped in support of the idea.
So,” he continued. “Someone slugs you in the right jaw.” He pretended to punch his own face. Then, he spun around as if from the blow. “Turn around for him,” he explained.
The audience laughed.
Then he offered his left jaw to his imaginary attacker. “Also another?” He requested, pointing to it.

Mat 5:40

Amid the mirth, another male voice called out, “Isn’t settling differences man-to-man better than losing our shirts in court?”
This question generated more laughter but also shouts of agreement.
The speaker chuckled at the comment but quickly responded.
“Also,” the speaker said, “for the one wanting to be judged against you.” He pretended to take off his shirt and get into a tug of war with someone using the shirt. “And take that shirt of yours—.” He strained, pulling at the imaginary shirt and then said, “Let go!” He released his end.
The crowd laughed, envisioning his opponent falling.
“Also the cloak!” He added, pretending to take off his cloak, tossing it on top of his fallen opponent.

Mat 5:41

“What about when the powerful force us to bear their burdens?” Someone asked.
And so,” the teacher asked, “someone forcing you a mile? One?” He held up a single finger.
The man nodded.
“Go along with him,” he said cheerfully, illustrating walking with two fingers of his hand.
The crowd groaned at the suggestion.
“Two!” The speaker added, turning the walking fingers upright to indicate the number, two.

Mat 5:42

“To the one asking from you, give!” The speaker explained, holding his hands out like a beggar.
The groans continued but the laughter also increased. Someone shouted, “Lucky the beggars!” This got more people laughing.
“But some will pick our pockets,” another voice complained.
Many in the crowd agreed.
“And,” the speaker answered, “to the one wanting from you.” He held up his left hand, directing the audience’s attention to it. “To borrow for himself.” As he looked toward his left hand, his right hand attempted to pick his own pocket.
A child called out, “Look! His left doesn’t know what it is doing—that right hand of his!”
At the child’s call, he looked down catching his errant right hand in the act. He caught it with his left.
“You might not want to turn away,” he suggested.

Mat 5:43

“What if someone who hates me asks me to give?” Another man challenged.
“You have heard tell that it was proclaimed,” the speaker responded, again pretending to unroll a scroll, this time, with more of a flourish.
The crowd laughed.
Reading in his old man’s voice, he intoned, “Love those close to you.” And then, rolling up the scroll, he sourly added another common saying of the Dedicated, “And hate those haters of yours!”

Mat 5:44

“I myself, however, am telling you all,” he intoned.
This drew a small laugh, but the audience also sensed his intensity.
“Care for those haters of yours,” he said earnestly. “Pray for those who harass you.

Mat 5:45

In order that you might become children of your Father, the one in the skies.”
He pointed to the sky in a familiar way. The crowd missed the cue. He raised his eyebrows and pointed more emphatically. The audience caught on and responded raggedly, “It has come close—the realm of the skies!”
“Because,” explained the speaker, now smiling, “that sun of his?” He pointed up at the sun, hidden behind the clouds. “He makes it rise on the worthless.” He patted his own chest humbly.
Most people laughed but a few protested.
“And the valuable,” he continued, gesturing toward a group of farm workers.
The others applauded.
“Not only does He shower on the law-abiding,” he added, indicating the Dedicated. “But also the law-breakers,” he added, gesturing toward the foreigners.

Mat 5:46

“If maybe—,” he started, then he corrected himself. “Since you all—,” the teacher continued, indicating the whole crowd, “care for those caring for you.” He hugged himself. “Why? Are you paid? Never! And the uh—,” he said, gesturing toward the prostitutes. “Uh—tax collectors? They do the same.”

Mat 5:47

“Also, if you all hug those brothers of yours alone,” he continued, hugging himself again. “What out of the ordinary are you doing?” He paused, letting the question sink in. Then he answered it. “Nothing,” he suggested, gesturing toward a group of Greeks. “Don’t even the foreigners act the same?”

Mat 5:48

“You are going to be, really,” he continued earnestly, indicating the whole crowd again, “your yourselves, complete. As your Father, the sky one completely is.”

Mat 6:1

“Does the Divine repay us for our generosity?” An older woman asked.
The speaker nodded enthusiastically but offered a caveat.
“Pay attention, however, ” the speaker warned, “to this virtue of yours. You don’t want to perform in front of people in order to see yourselves through them. Unless, however, you really don’t want compensation!”He said, nodding toward the sky.
“So, if I get recognition from others for having praiseworthy values?” She asked.
“You are not going to get it from that Father of yours, the one in the skies,” he answered.

Mat 6:2

“But I want others to see how kind I am!” She protested.
“When you truly perform a kindness,” he advised her, “you don’t want to trumpet it in front of people. The same as actors, performing in the meeting places—.” He took the exaggerated pose of an actor blowing a horn. “And in the crowded streets,” he said, blowing his imaginary horn again.
This got people chuckling.
“So that they might be recognized by the people,” he continued. “Honestly, I’m telling you, they are getting paid in full.” He put his hand up to his chin and patted his stomach, signaling being full. “That pay of theirs.” He said these words with obvious distaste.

Mat 6:3

“For you, however,” the speaker said, turning again to the woman, “performing a kindness of yours—.” He mimicked the voice of the child that had shouted out earlier. “Don’t let your left,” he said, holding his left hand up, “know what it is doing—that right hand of yours.” His right hand furtively tossed a penny toward a group of children.
Everyone, especially the children, laughed.

Mat 6:4

“In this way, it might be that,” he said, returning to his own voice, “your kindness is hidden!” He held his fingers up to his lips. “And that Father of yours, the one seeing into the hidden,” he said, “is going to give back to you.”

Mat 6:5

“What about getting recognition for being pious and praying?” One of the Dedicated asked.
“Also when you pray for yourself,” the speaker responded happily, “you are really not going to be—like the actors!” He dramatically orated the last phrase. “Because they love—in the meeting places and in the crossroads, standing to pray for themselves so that they shine among the people!” He put his hands up in the air and bowed over and over, moving his arms to draw attention to himself.”
Everyone laughed.
“Honestly, I’m telling you, they are getting paid in full,” he said, putting his hand up to his chin again. “That pay of theirs,” he said again with distaste.

Mat 6:6

“You, however,” he continued more seriously, addressing the man who asked the question, “when you pray, go in that inner sanctum of yours. And shutting that door of yours.” He pretended to shut a door. “Pray to that Father of yours—the one within the hidden. And that Father of yours—the one seeing into the hidden—is going to pay you back.”

Mat 6:7

The audience clapped, but a foreigner complained loudly, “What about religious pageantry? Magnificence? Flamboyance?”
“Praying, like that?” The speaker responded cheerfully, “I don’t want to babble like the foreigners because they think that—in their long-windedness—they are going to be listened to.”

Mat 6:8

“You all don’t want,” he continued more seriously, “really, to become like them. Because He has seen, the Divine—that Father of yours—what needs you all have before anyone.”
“Why should He care about my needs?” A cranky-sounding woman’s voice called out.
“Yours?” The speaker asked, pointing at her. Then indicating the sky with both hands, he told the woman, “Ask Him!”

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