Mat 5:31-32; You Are What You Say.

Class Outline:

Thursday June 27, 2024


Idea: Jesus removes vows so that our hearts will be so true so as to have no need of crutches.  


Introduction: We have seen the blessed ones are a type of people. Then Jesus said that these types are the ones who are the salt of the earth, the light of the world, and who keep and teach the law. Then Jesus said that He came to fulfill the Law, and in six examples He teaches us what that means. He did not come to abolish it, but to give us hearts that would long to, love to, and have the power to live out the spirit of the law in our own inner spirit. Knowing the law to that depth (not letter only) making us wise like Christ and pure of heart like Him in practice. He has truly made us His apprentices. 


Jesus is not laying aside the law, but some of the letter He is. Conclusions about divorce were removed, but two. Now, oath taking is removed, but like divorce, the spirit of this law is maintained and demanded in our own spirit. The laws are shown in their foundational ethic. The kingdom of heaven operates on a radical level of essential righteousness. Some things in the law are declared unnecessary by Him where the greater righteousness of the kingdom of heaven is demanded. 


MAT 5:33-37


Jesus now shows us the spirit of truth by the commands concerning vows. 


The commands given in the Hebrew Bible concern oaths given to both neighbor and God (LEV 19:11-12; NUM 30:1-2; DEU 23:21-23). 


Vows were undertaken voluntarily, but once undertaken they were binding. We cannot help but think of the ninth commandment of bearing false witness. 


Oaths are not commanded (DEU 23:23) and forgiven if said by young, rash girl who repents of it (Num 30) - grace of God. 


“But I say to you …” shock to their culture. 


Their culture had turned vows into a ritual practice in which items sworn on had various weights like collateral. 


Oaths - overt tokens of honesty. 


Overt like the religion of the scribes and Pharisees (2TI 3:5; MAT 23:16-22). 


Indicative of the fact that you might be lying or are someone who could. 


The majority of the references to oaths in the OT are to God’s oath by which He has committed Himself to His people. Does Jesus’ words make that evil as well? 


Jesus maintains the spirit of the law which is to never lie and always be honest. Never a hypocrite, flatterer, a shell of a person who has the form of godliness but no inner reality or power.


His point is further emphasized by the things that were commonly sworn on. 


You do not own any of them, and further, you cannot wield them or create within them (ISA 66:1; PSA 48:2). 


Jesus gives a command in the 3rd singular - Be your word!


The only your in this passage is your word, because it comes from your heart (MAT 15:1-20). 


Lies, hypocritical talk, dishonesty, ingenuine words, flattery, etc. reveal a heart that is not true. If you are not true then what are you? 


Some are true or honest in evil. This is no solution. 


God wants your words to always be for good. God is very concerned about words (JAM 1:19, JAM 1:26; JAM 3:1-12; EPH 4:25, EPH 4:29)


Edifying, giving grace and kindness (EPH 5:4; ECC 10:12; ROM 14:19; COL 4:6).   


All of the teaching in the Sermon on the Mount are found in the epistles of the NT also. 


Christ has created in this age new men and women who have incredible divine power to serve Him with clean hearts. 


You become witnesses for Him to all those around you. 


You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.