It is relatively easy to obey Jesus' command to say yes when you mean yes and no when you mean no when you have no power. The poor, to whom Jesus usually spoke, had nothing to lose when they heard Jesus speak, but the leaders of the Jewish community were anxious to hold onto the little power they had. Because Palestine was under the control of Rome, the Jewish leaders did everything they could to negotiate with Rome for control over the temple precincts, and they were moderately successful. They had their own currency and had jurisdiction over Jews when they visited the temple, but little else, and even what they had was not important to most people.
Jesus wants everyone to acknowledge how needy they are, and the Jewish leaders resent this. They were working hard for the modest power they had and they wanted everyone to notice and support them. When what they thought of as a minor healer challenged them to tell the truth about how lacking in power they really were, they did everything they could to undermine and trap him, and when they failed they raised the stakes.
When we admit how needy we are of God's help and direction, everything changes. Fully accepting of God's direction, we submit more humbly to whatever God asks, and while this is never easy, especially when we are praying for others who are sick or needy, we learn to live each day fully and deeply, leaving the results to God.
Today, say no to one more task.
When are you most inclined to want to control your life?