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November 25, 2020

| Jim Cantelon |

Matthew 5
Oaths vv. 33-37 – Part 2

“Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the Lord” (Lev.19:12). “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God…” (Ex. 20:7). In Jewish thought the name of God was binding. To abuse his name by invoking it without follow-through was seen as blasphemous.

So, when it comes to truth is must, as one old theologian put it, “stand before God undraped” by any subterfuge. An oath must never be a cover for deceit.

Jesus simply says, “Yes, is yes. No is no.” God is omnipresent so there is no need to invoke his presence in a contract. As Jesus’ half-brother James our it, “Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear — not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No”. Otherwise you will be condemned” (Ja. 5:12). Let your word “be your bond”. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t sign contracts. What it does mean is that our signature is a witness to our integrity. We must need forget that our name is attached to his.