Notes: August 16, 2009

Perjury, Vengeance and Love

Jesus used “law and prophets” to mean the scriptures. In His first 2 examples of exceeding righteousness Jesus referred to the Law proper, the 10 commandments. In examples 3-5 He referred to the broader law. And in the final example, Jesus showed that the Jews had combined a truth with a tradition. Today, we consider the last 3 examples…

Matthew 5:33-48; Luke 6:27-36


  • Yes,  Leviticus 19:12, Deuteronomy 23:23, Ecclesiastes 5:4-6 and other scriptures forbad lying under oath and failing to keep one’s vows to God.
  • Some believed that if their oath were to be affirmed on some part of God’s creation that would be guarantee that what they said was true (with the understanding that all else might be, more or less, other than the whole truth).
  • Jesus corrected this “cross my heart and hope to die” mentality with “always tell the truth.” Gangsters show their ignorance of God’s ways when they “swear on my mother’s eyeballs.”


  • Yes, Exodus 21:22-27 and Leviticus 24:20 speak of social justice.
  • But Jesus warns against demanding our “pound of flesh.”
  • Vengeance belongs to God. Let us not take it upon ourselves.
  • Specific examples are given relative to interpersonal relations, legal matters, and government service.


  • Who hasn’t believed or practiced this one: love your neighbor (Leviticus 19:8), and hate your enemy (for which no Bible reference can be found)?
  • Modern departures from Biblical truth often follow this example of taking a part of scripture and adding human reasoning to it. How often have your heard (or said), “I just can’t believe…” something that’s plainly written in the Bible?
  • To this Jesus re-emphasizes the truth of the teaching: love your enemies.
  • Don’t be like all of the unsaved folks who love their friends and hate their enemies. You be like God.
  • God is good, and He does good to all men.  You be like God.
  • God is perfect. You be like God.