Wednesday

03 August 2016

"Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, 'You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.' But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 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 one hair white or black. Let your word be 'Yes, Yes' or 'No, No'; anything more than this comes from the evil one." (vv. 33-37)

Psalm: Psalm 125

Background

(For those following this week's notes, you will notice that some of the material is repeated. This is intentional. So often we read a number of verses and do not have the opportunity to reflect more closely on them. This week's passages offer the opportunity for closer reflection, each following the same model and with similar questions.)

Verses 33-37 expose the fallacy of thinking that one can escape the consequences of a broken oath by substituting something else for God's name. Jesus goes to the heart of it. Let your word itself be your bond.

Again note how the authority of Jesus comes out in all these sayings.

To Ponder

  • To what extent is Jesus' teaching here practicable in today's world?
  • In what other ways should a Christian's conduct should go beyond conventional standards?
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