Scripture: Matt 5: 27-37
Key verse: (37) Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.
Reflection: Jesus is talking about the truth. Nothing but the truth, so help me God. But why is a simple yes or no enough? We have all manipulated the truth at some point. Maybe we have told only enough of the story so that it would be truth when actually if you heard the whole story, what we implied would have not been true. We don’t trust ourselves and we don’t trust others, so we need an oath. A substitute for honesty.
It is easier to live by lists of rules and laws than it is to live in authentic, dynamic, and redemptive relationship to people. Jesus is raising the bar and challenging the system. Just tell the truth!
Did you just say Jack Nicholson’s famous line from A Few Good Men? In the 1992 movie about a murder cover-up at Guantanamo Bay, Col. Nathan Jessup is pushed to tell the truth but responds in red-faced anger, “You can’t handle the truth.” I think he could not handle the truth that he played a role in so much injustice.
We have to be honest with ourselves before we can be honest with others. Jesus is calling for a deeper truth and deeper discipleship. His invitation is to tell the truth, and nothing but the truth; without the “so help me God”. Let your yes be yes and your no be no, without using God’s name to prove your commitment.
Prayer: Beloved God, we are nothing except loved by you. Be present with us today. Give us courage to stand firm for justice and to speak out in love. AMEN.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].