Matthew 5:27-37 NASB
²⁷You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; ²⁸but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Severe warning against stumbling
²⁹If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. ³⁰If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.
³¹It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce’; ³²but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
³³Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’
³⁴But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, ³⁵or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. ³⁶Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. ³⁷But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.
Be trustworthy in every way from your heart!
Adultery is different from divorce.
Adultery can already take place if there is no divorce yet (Matthew 5:27,28).
The desire for a wife other than one’s own, cannot be seen.
It all takes place in the world of our desires.
But the commandment of the LORD penetrates in there. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife” (The tenth commandment, Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21).
Anyone who knows from experience how weak we are in this area, will understand that Jesus says that we must not shy away from very radical measures.
Our eye and hand are involved in the temptation of this sin.
If that is the case, the eye must be plucked out and the hand cut off (Matthew 5:29,30). That means we decide to have no eye and no hand for what could be tempting.
We no longer use them for that. Job said, “I had made a covenant with my eyes, how could I have regarded a virgin?” (Job 31:1; compare Psalm 119:37). He had agreed with his eyes that they were not for that.
The Lord Jesus also focuses attention on the ninth commandment (Exodus 20:16; Deuteronomy 20:20).
A person is unreliable.
Therefore, he sometimes has to back up his words with an oath to be credible. With an oath we say that God witnesses what we say.
Realizing that it was not appropriate to bring God into everything, they had devised other oath formulas: on heaven, on earth, on Jerusalem, and so on (Matthew 5:34-36).
People constantly sought confirmation of his words with these references, forgetting that the LORD is a witness to all our words (Matthew 12:36,37).
The purpose of God’s commandment is, of course, that we are trustworthy in everything and that we never harm our neighbor with our words.
When Jesus says we should NEVER swear (Matthew 5:34), it is plain language. Yet there are pastors who argue that this does not necessarily mean that we refuse to take the oath if the government asks us to take an oath. They state that it NEVER clearly states that this only pertains to frivolous swearing.
I maintain that when Jesus says NEVER, He means NEVER.
Incidentally, taking things under oath should not be necessary at all, because we can always be counted on (Matthew 5:37; The evil one, the devil, is the source of the lie (John 8:44), who is either too much or too says little).
▪︎ From what do your words derive their value?
▪︎ Ask the Lord to help you to always be trustworthy in your dealings with others.
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