This weekend, we looked at two of Jesus’ teachings. The first was a very contextual directive on divorce in Matthew 5:31-32. And, here we see that Jesus is raising the bar for faithfulness within marriage, specifically calling men to a different standard. Then, Jesus taught about oaths, again in a highly contextualized way.
He says this in Matthew 5:33-37 (NRSV)…
“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.”
And, for many of this, what Jesus is saying here simply isn’t an issue. Most of us probably don’t swear by earth or Jerusalem all that much in our daily lives. But, it’s the principle behind what Jesus is saying that matters.
In essence, back in the day, people we’re finding loopholes around what oaths and promises they needed to keep, and which ones they didn’t. They would swear by different things, other than on God, to give themselves more wiggle room to go back on their word. And, what Jesus is essentially saying is that this is ridiculous. Just let your “yes” be “yes,” and your “no” be “no.”
We need to be people of faithfulness and integrity.
That was our main point. And, it’s our calling as Christians – to be people who live with faithfulness and integrity, even in the hardships of life. Even in the difficulties. Even amidst the pressures.
To do that we encouraged everyone to confess, and receive from God. That, if we are going to live with faithfulness and integrity, we need to confess our sins to God, as well as receive from Him. Because, we cannot live with integrity on our own strength. We need Jesus.
So, to close our time, we took communion together, focusing in on both confessing to and receiving from God.