All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
Verse 37 (NIV)
Are you as good as your word? Maybe you have had some people make promises like these: She would help you meet the deadline at work. He insisted that he would give you a ride home after practice. They promised to visit you more often. But life gets busy and sometimes people just plain forget. She had too much of her own work to do. He forgot that you were waiting in the parking lot. They got busy with their own friends. People break their promises, and it becomes harder to trust the people who made the promises and perhaps even to trust anyone.
Keeping our word matters. Jesus warns us here that we can easily fool ourselves into believing we are truthful people, as long as we don’t swear oaths we cannot keep. As believers, Jesus urges us to recognize that we are not just establishing our own character when we speak the truth but also represent the one who calls himself the Truth. God’s eye is on us not only when we invoke his name by swearing an oath, because every word we speak is spoken in God’s presence. That’s why Jesus says oaths are not necessary. Our integrity and character should be such that our words are trustworthy even if they are not accompanied by an oath.
The gospel alone gives us courage to be people of truth. God’s truth about us is that we are fallen people – and yet he loves us enough to go to the cross for us. How will God’s truth and love motivate you to live out the truth today?
Jesus, you are truth and I desire to represent the truth well in my words and my life. Give me the courage to be people who speak the truth and live it. Amen.