By this point in His ministry, it was clear that Jesus’s teachings would be unlike what the people of His time were used to hearing. The poor will receive the kingdom of God? The meek will inherit the earth? Blessed are the persecuted? The scribes and Pharisees were not teaching such things. And yet those who truly understood God’s law recognized truth in the Savior’s words. “An eye for an eye” and “hate thine enemy” were lesser laws (Matthew 5:38, 43). But Jesus Christ had come to teach a higher law (see 3 Nephi 15:2–10), designed to help us one day become “perfect, even as [our] Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
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