What Jesus Did! 'Reliability!' — Matthew 5:35-37

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

"Don't make a vow using the name of the earth, because the earth belongs to God. Don't make a vow using the name of Jerusalem, because that is the city of the great King (God). And don't even say that your own head is proof that you will keep your vow. You cannot make one hair on your head become white or black. Say only 'yes' if you mean yes, and say only 'no' if you mean no. If you must say more than 'yes' or 'no,' it is from the Evil One (the devil)."
— Matthew 5:35-37
Illustration of Matthew 5:35-37 — "Don't make a vow using the name of the earth, because the earth belongs to God."

Key Thought

Don't break your word! In the Kingdom Family of God, the truth is insured by our integrity, not by something artificial outside us. We shouldn't have to swear to insure our word! But Jesus carries it one step further when he tells us: Don't swear on an oath to guarantee your word. Let the truthfulness of your speech be the standard mode in which you live, not something that has to reach out and grab for reliability in something external.

Today's Prayer

Almighty and dependable God, I want to be a person of integrity. I want my words to be true. I want people to be able to trust my word when I give them my word. Please give me strength and courage to not exaggerate, lie, break my word, or stretch the truth. As your child, blessed by the many promises you have kept, I want to bless others by keeping my word. In Jesus' holy name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

"You have heard that it was said, 'Don't do the sin of adultery.' But I tell you that if a person looks at a woman and wants to sin sexually with her, then that person has already done that sin with the woman in his mind. If your right eye makes you sin, then take it out and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. "It was also said, 'Any person that divorces his wife must give her a written notice of divorce.' But I tell you that any person that divorces his wife is causing his wife to be guilty of the sin of adultery. The only reason for a person to divorce his wife is if his wife had sexual relations with another man. And any person that marries that divorced woman is guilty of the sin of adultery. "You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, 'When you make a vow (promise), don't break that promise. Keep the vows (promises) that you make to the Lord.' But I tell you, never make a vow. Don't make a vow using the name of heaven, because heaven is God's throne. Don't make a vow using the name of the earth, because the earth belongs to God. Don't make a vow using the name of Jerusalem, because that is the city of the great King (God). And don't even say that your own head is proof that you will keep your vow. You cannot make one hair on your head become white or black. Say only 'yes' if you mean yes, and say only 'no' if you mean no. If you must say more than 'yes' or 'no,' it is from the Evil One (the devil).

Matthew 5:27-37

Related Scripture Readings

My brothers and sisters, it is very important that you not use an oath when you make a promise. Don't use the name of heaven, earth, or anything else to prove what you say. When you mean yes, say only "yes." When you mean no, say only "no." Do this so that you will not be judged guilty.

James 5:12

Many people call a person"friend." But it is really hard to find a person that can really be trusted.

Proverbs 20:6

No! We will speak the truth with love. We will grow to be like Christ in every way. Christ is the head {and we are the body}.

Ephesians 4:15

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.