In the next section of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus has a lot to say about keeping your promises. The first topic he brings up is marriage. While the Law of Moses allowed for easy divorce, Jesus forbids his followers from easy divorce. Instead, their faithfulness to their wedding vows ought to mirror God’s faithfulness to his people. While the law allows adultery in the case of divorce this is a concession to the brokenness of the world, not God’s intent.
Jesus’ second topic of discussion is oaths. It seems people around him were oath-happy. But they came up with sneaky ways not to honour their oaths. Jesus rejects this idea, instead of saying believers should always tell the truth. While an oath might signal someone’s truthfulness, oaths also imply that its OK to lie when no oath is given. Jesus thinks this will not allow the trust that is necessary in a Kingdom-of-God community. Keeping your promises is essential to demonstrating what God is like to the world outside the church.
Questions for Reflection
- Do you think people outside the church view Christians as honest? Why or why not?
- Are there times people encounter in everyday life where being dishonest is necessary?
- What can I do to help people be honest around me?
- How can I help others with difficult marriages to honour their marriage vows?
Other Sermons In This Series