Sermon On The Mount Discussion Guide
33 ‘Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, “Do not break your oath, but fulfil to the Lord the oaths you have made.” 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply “Yes,” or “No”; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
Jesus challenges the oath system, which many were hiding behind to conceal deceit; He was well aware that people were / are capable of religious practice / lip service. Jesus calls us to a better way – to a way of truth and integrity; to be a people known for keeping our word. When we don’t tell the truth, we are essentially manipulating people to benefit ourselves in some way. Jesus calls into His way of LIFE – where the truth sets us free; where we honour others by being true to our word. Being a people of truth and integrity always brings true freedom: to ourselves and to others. With Jesus, there is freedom from shame. HE is the truth. The way. The life. And He invites us near, to walk with Him and become more like Him.
Talk about a time when someone said they would do something for you (meet up for coffee, do a favour for you, etc) and then didn’t follow through – how did it make you feel? What did you think about the other person?
Perhaps then move to talk about a time when you let someone down – what were some of your reasons (be as honest as you want to!)
1. Which words or phrases stand out to you?
2. How does understanding the context of these passages help us understand its meaning?
- How do you decide what is true and what is not? What are some of your filters?
- What motivates you to deceive, not tell the whole truth, or mislead others? What’s really going on for you?
- What would it look like (practically – get real!) for you to stay true to your word?
Scripture Reading: Here is a 90 day reading plan through all four Gospels. Download the YouVersion app and select to do this plan “with friends.” Once you invite members from your community to join you, you can all track together with the plan and save notes, questions, and comments on passages – why not take turns in adding a short commentary each day?
If you’re not there already, break into small groups and pray for what the Holy Spirit is putting on your heart. Don’t rush, but enjoy being in His presence together. Pray encouragement and blessing on one another, as you ponder what God is saying.