Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Commands of Christ - Matthew 5:34-37

"But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes, and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than this is from the evil one."

Who is this command to?

This command is spoken to the multitudes listening to Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and it serves as a general principle for all mankind.

What does this command require?

This command requires that a person 1) not swear by anything and 2) do what he promises. Let your 'Yes' actually mean what it says and be a  'Yes.' Also, let your 'No' actually mean what it says and be a 'No.'

What truths do we learn from this?

Jesus asks us to speak plainly and decisively. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Words are important. Words are how we communicate to each other, and how we communicate to God in prayer. Jesus simply asks us to speak plainly.

A verse comes to mind here: "That which has gone from your lips you shall keep and perform, for you voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth." -Deuteronomy 23:23

In this day and age, it could not be more important to have people speak plainly to each other. There never has been a greater need for the type of man whose word is his bond. Much confusion could be saved, and light shed on many a situation if people would just speak plainly.

What are the consequences for disobeying this command?

Lying, failed promises, letting people down, confusion, distrust

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