With Lustful Intent

 
 
Taking from the Sermon in the Mount, Jesus speaking on the 7th commandment.  
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.   As always, the old “law” that the Jews live under is precisely defined, very black and white,  Jesus blows the doors off that, but not the way we would do it today.  Today, we look at the bible and try to figure out just how far we can go, what we can get away with.  In Jesus terms, if we are even thinking about it, we have crossed the line.  We think in terms of the physical action, He speaks in terms of the spirit, the heart.  Just like our heart being where our treasure is, our heart goes with our desires.  If a man looks at a woman lustfully (or vice versa) he has committed adultery.  I’m going to say this – that every time we try to figure out just how far we can push the line on some sin we do, every time we try to parse the letter of Gods law to justify whatever it is we want to do, we are already trapped by that sin.   Jesus here speaks specifically about adultery, but he’s really speaking in spiritual terms.  Any sinful activity that we are wanting to partake in, whatever it may be, if our minds are set on it, we have already sinned.
 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.   Some have taken this literally, but of course, Jesus is talking spiritually here.  And such language from the Prince of Peace!!  We must run from sin, whatever it is.  He uses the imagery of gouging your eye out, but we are simply to know what our temptation is, and avoid it.  Men are visual creatures, we are tempted by what we see.  We are to deal with the roots of our sin…what good would it do to cut the right eye out and still have the desire for what our left eye can see???
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.    Again, strong words from God who is Love!!  So, tell me again, Jesus doesn’t care if we sin??  Again, he’s using imagery of self mutilation, and again, we always remember Jesus is about your heart.  Let’s keep this simple.  Why do I need to push the boundaries, see what I can get away with??  If I’m a sex addict, if I struggle with lust, do I need to be in a strip club?  Do I need to sneak a peek at web sites that have images that are meant to stir me up?   If I’m an alcoholic, do I need to be in any bar?  If I’m a gambling addict, should I be taking trips to Vegas?  Do I need to be at the neighborhood card game?  If Jesus here visually is speaking about physically cutting off the parts of your body that tend to execute the sins we are tempted to, what do you think he would say about cutting off for ourselves the occasions that might lead us to sin??   Stern warnings from Jesus about allowing ourselves to even be tempted.  

““You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:27-30‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/mat.5.27-30.esv

 

 
 
 
 

John Lewis

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