ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH
“Again you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep your 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 you head because 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.”
This is Jesus’ yoke on speaking the truth.
Why should Jesus have had to speak to people about not taking oaths? Was it because taking an oath meant that they had to tell the truth, otherwise their word could not be trusted? Nowadays people have to swear on the Bible in court or take an oath to tell the truth and then they still tell lies under oath when it suits them.
The religious teachers of Jesus’ day insisted that if people verified their words with an oath, they had to swear by the gold of the temple because it was more binding than just swearing by the temple (Matthew 23:16). Jesus pointed out the foolishness of that kind of thinking. The temple, the gold and the God who dwells in the temple are joined together. The same with taking an oath in the name of heaven. It does not matter what a person swears by, in the end God is there and hears the words.
The problem with taking an oath to verify ones words is that it implies that, unless you take an oath, whenever you speak, you are lying. We live in a world that is steeped in dishonesty. People’s word cannot be trusted, even if they take an oath or sign a legal document.
How important it is that followers of Jesus are people whose word can always be trusted. If they make a promise, they can be trusted to do what they have said. If they say there will be at a certain place at a certain time, they can be trusted to be there on time.
God is present everywhere. He is aware of every word we speak. We cannot hide anything from Him because He even knows our thoughts before we think them. What purpose is there in taking an oath in order to speak the truth so that at other times we can tell lies and think we will get away with it?
As followers of Jesus, we are to be like Him. Jesus always spoke the truth even if it offended people. He did not do it to offend, but the truth exposed the darkness is people’s hearts and they did not like to be exposed.
“Jesus…said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12.
Jesus said, “I am the truth…” How important it is for us to be truthful, always so that we can reflect Jesus in the way we relate to and treat people.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you read my new book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!
Watch this space. My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master, will soon be on the bookshelves.