Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
Matthew 23:16-22 (NIV)
16 “Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’ 17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18 You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ 19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22 And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.
In Matthew 23, Jesus unloads a host of criticisms of the Jewish religious leaders. This is a warning to any who teach others or lead in the church, that we are responsible not only for ourselves, but for the sins of those whom we lead astray. In this section, Jesus criticizes the leaders for making a mockery of God’s laws, by inventing ridiculous excuses to justify lying in certain situations. Examine yourself, and repent of your times when you thought “this lie isn’t really a lie”.