“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had…
Now we come to the final passage for this week. Here Jesus speaks to the subject of making and keeping oaths. An oath is “a solemn promise, often evoking a divine witness, regarding one’s future action or behavior.” In the Old Testament, an oath was only needed if a person’s word alone was unreliable: it was an admission of failure in truthfulness. What Jesus is saying here is that we are to be the kind of persons who don’t have to take an oath. As committed followers of the Lord Jesus, we should be trustworthy in all areas of life. As we live out our faith in Christ’s kingdom, character will make the oath unnecessary. Under the Mosaic system, often oaths were made for show. Many times, the person making the oath had no intention of following through on it. They thought that going through the motions of making an oath somehow earned them brownie points with God. It might have impressed their peers, but it did not impress God.
Jesus said, “Simply, let your Yes be Yes, and your No, No.” In other words, be a man or woman of your word. This displays true Christ-like character. Once again it comes down to character. It is not so much what you are to do as much as it is who you are to be. Character matters! The ongoing work of the Holy Spirit is to transform you into the image of Christ. We should not merely act like Jesus. We need to think like Jesus. We need to feel like Jesus. Our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. What we have seen this past week is the importance of godly character. What the Law fails to do, Jesus does through His atoning work on the cross. Jesus died so that we might live and become new creations in Him.
Questions to Ponder:
Are you becoming more and more like Jesus? Are you a man or woman of your word? Have you ever broken promises that you made? What is your biggest take-away from God’s Word this week? How is God revealing Himself to you through the Sermon on the Mount?
- Praise the Lord for His attributes.
- Confess any sins the Spirit reveals to you. Allow time to mourn over those sins against the Lord and/or against others. Receive His forgiveness, grace, and mercy as you remember He keeps no record of wrong.
- Ask the Lord to make you and His Body/Church people who keep their word. Ask for honesty and transparency to arise. Pray for the power to live with integrity in every area of your life.
Heavenly Father, thank You for how You minister to me personally as well as each person at Oak Pointe and across the globe. Thank You Lord for giving me Your indwelling Holy Spirit that sanctifies and sets me a part, as well as empowers me and leads me into truth. Thank You for how Your Spirit reminds me of Your word. Teach me how to pray and prompt me to come to You throughout the day. I ask that You would help me to be truthful in everything that I say and do. I can be this way because You are this way to me. There is no deceit in You. I ask that there wouldn’t be any deceit in me either. Let me yes be yes and my no be no. Thank You Jesus for Your incredible love. Help me to share it through my utterly honest talk. I pray all of this in Jesus’ name. Amen.