Yes and No

Matthew 5:37 – Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

In Matthew 5:33-37, the Savior poses a challenge to the way that the religious leaders of social movers of his day were using their oaths. Men were making flowery promises, swearing by the temple, by the heavens, and all the rest. But they were also coming up with legal loopholes so as not to have to keep their word. But Jesus tells them that this is lying, even if they think they have escaped on a technicality.

As he concludes, Jesus challenges his followers not to use fancy oaths to give their word. Instead, the followers of the Savior should be able to get by with a simple yes or no. The point is that, if we are honest people, if we are known for truthfulness, if we are seen as reliable, nobody will need from us flowery promises. Once we are seen as people of our word, when we say yes to somebody or no to somebody, they will know we are telling the truth.

In our litigious society, people are more and more looking for loopholes. People love to agree to something only to do backflips to find the way out. May this not be true of us. May we be people of our word. May we never be able to be accused of telling a lie or tricking people with squirmy legal language. May we instead be honest, above-board, and trustworthy in all things. That is what it means for your yes to be yes and your no to be no. Christians