Jesus and the Law - Part 5
What about abusive marriages?
Jesus submitted to an oath:
Paul invoked God as his witness:
Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 22
A LAWFUL oath is a part of religious worship, wherein, upon just occasion, the person swearing solemnly calleth God to witness what he asserteth or promiseth; and to judge him according to the truth or falsehood of what he sweareth.
Jesus is addressing a narrow and misleading legalism that requires a specific oath to make spoken promises binding, implying that trustworthiness in speaking is optional when unaccompanied by a solemn oath. Jesus demands an integrity in speaking such that everything is spoken as though it is under oath. He also prohibits the implicit idolatry of swearing by anything less than God.
Truth is so scarce that nearly everyone is suspect. Business people, advertisers, commentators, clerks, salesmen, lawyers, doctors, tradesmen, teachers, writers, politicians, and even many, if not most, preachers are suspect. Our whole society is largely built on a network of fabrication, of manufactured “truth.” We shade the truth, we cheat, we exaggerate, we misrepresent income tax deductions, we make promises we have no intention of keeping, we make up excuses, and betray confidences—all as a matter of normal, everyday living.
The system of oaths between one person and another was like a giant game of King’s X. People would swear by heaven, by the earth, by the Temple, by the hairs on their heads, and by any other thing they thought would impress those they wanted to take advantage of. That kind of routine oath-making was usually lie-making; and it was considered by those who practiced it to be perfectly acceptable as long as it was not in the name of the Lord.