What Jesus emphasized in his teaching was that honest people do not need to resort to oaths to convince someone they were being honest. It was not that they should refuse to take an oath if required by some “external authority” to do so, but that our YES should be YES and our NO should be NO. When we build our lives on God’s wisdom, indeed the wisdom of Jesus…..we build our lives on the rock, a strong foundation.
How does this teaching contribute to our stability in times of pressure as Jesus promised?
The answer can be found later in the Sermon on the Mount:
Matthew 7:21-24 (TNIV)
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven [remember, this is not just the place we go when we die but is also right here among us. The kingdom is right here and right now, should we choose to live in it], but only those who do the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ [in other words, many will say, “but I did such good things all my life”]
23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
Adhering to this teaching contributes to our stability in times of pressure by eliminating the contamination of lying and untruthfulness. Indeed, we develop a strong, pure basis for our lives. When the storms come, we will respond as the disciples did in the storm at sea in Matthew 8:23-27….they looked to Jesus for the answer.
Matthew 8:23-27 (TNIV)
23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
The point is, when we eliminate lying and untruthfulness, when our YES is YES and our NO is NO, we gain strength in Christ. We gain strength in who we are and the waves and the storms in our lives become calmer as we trust in Him. Indeed, we have trust and faith that God will bless the truth. How can God bless us if our hearts are full of lies?
May YOU let your YES be YES and your NO be NO. And may YOU gain the strength in Christ that comes from following, not just believing! May your life be built on the rock of Jesus!