Monday 8 September, 2014
13/14 “How terrible it will be for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter. And you will not let those enter who are trying to. 15 “How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You travel everywhere to win one person to your faith. Then you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. 16 “How terrible for you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone takes an oath in the name of the temple, it means nothing. But anyone who takes an oath in the name of the gold of the temple must keep the oath.’ 17 You are blind and foolish! Which is more important? Is it the gold? Or is it the temple that makes the gold holy? 18 “You also say, ‘If anyone takes an oath in the name of the altar, it means nothing. But anyone who takes an oath in the name of the gift on it must keep the oath.’ 19 You blind men! Which is more important? Is it the gift? Or is it the altar that makes the gift holy? 20 “So anyone who takes an oath in the name of the altar takes an oath in the name of it and of everything on it. 21 And anyone who takes an oath in the name of the temple takes an oath in the name of it and of the One who lives in it. 22 And anyone who takes an oath in the name of heaven takes an oath in the name of God’s throne and of the One who sits on it.
Jesus reminds us in this passage that we should mean what we say, that if we say we will do something then we should do it. There are no magic words that make a promise one we can’t break versus other promises we can break. What we say should be straightforward and clear and we should follow through. Jesus wants us not to be two faced or misleading in our words. It means we need to think before we speak. It also means we need to do what we promise even if the promise was spoken in haste and the promise is inconvenient. This is a great principle to live by. It’s about building trustworthiness in us. Just as God is worth trusting so He would like us to be.
Lord God help me to be trustworthy. Please help me to take care in my words so that I say those things I can actually do. Please also help me to take my commitments seriously – to respect the belief others have in me. Teach me Lord that my words matter and they impact other people. Help me to use them well.
Written by Therese Manning
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