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“Woe to you, blind guides who say, ‘Whoever swears by the sanctuary is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gold of the sanctuary is bound by the oath.’" (Matthew 23:16)

Remember the silly ways as children we used to try and hide from telling the truth? Crossing our fingers behind our backs, or saying we didn’t mean what we said because we did not swear on something important like the Bible?  That is the level of ridiculousness that Jesus is dealing with in Matthew 23:16-22. (Try reading these verses in The Message to understand them.) Because it was so ridiculous, we may be tempted to ignore these verses. But Jesus is teaching us an important truth—that to avoid hypocrisy, we must root out all dishonesty. We must consistently put truth into practice: first with ourselves (which can be very hard), with God, and finally with others.  As Jesus said in another place, “Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’”, nothing more.

Prayer – Jesus, help me to be honest with myself, with you, and with others today. 

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