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June 17, 2007 / Daniel

The kingdom and oaths

I’ve been slowly working my way through the Sermon on the Mount.  Once again in this section we see Jesus going straight to the heart of the issue. 

 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell you, Do not swear 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. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

The Pharisees had made the Torah much more manageable by reducing it to just the externals.  In this case, having the right oath formula could excuse your dishonesty.   But Jesus and His kingdom requires that we become trustworthy people.  The kind of people that don’t need an oath to ensure our truthfulness.  

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