Matthew 5:33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:
35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
Our verbal communications involve the words that spring forth from our mouths. No doubt, the Lord considers these communications important and we should too. In today’s passage, the Lord gave some specific insights concerning His expectations of our communication. First, He wants our communication to be short and to the point – “let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay” (Matthew 5:37; see also Proverbs 10:19; Ecclesiastes 5:3, 7). Second, our word should be validated without the necessity of certifying it with vows, oaths, and swearing. In the context of the passage, the Lord Jesus forbade swearing “by heaven” (Matthew 5:34), “by the earth” (Matthew 5:35), or “by thy head” (Matthew 5:36). When we swear by these things, we put ourselves in danger of condemnation (James 5:12). Let your nay be nay and your yea be yea!
- (For children): God asked Adam if he had eaten of the forbidden tree from which God said not to eat. Instead of just saying, “Yes,” Adam used many words to try to make his sin seem less bad (Genesis 3:11-12). God doesn’t want us to cover up what we’ve done with our many words.
- (For everyone): Do you find it necessary to back up your words with godless swearing or can your word be trusted? Do you say things like, “I swear on my mother’s grave” or “cross my heart and hope to die”?
- The Lord wants our words to be few and faithful. Do you find it necessary to speak voluminous words as a cloak for your lack of truthfulness in your communication?
- Ask the Lord to help your words be few and faithful.
- Ask God to clear your mouth of worldly, godless language.