Raising the Bar on Adultery
October 3 – Raising the Bar on Adultery
Read Matthew 5:27-30
With everything that He mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus challenged behavior. He brought motivations and desires, the realm of the heart, into question. The Law clearly prohibited adultery – Jesus taught that the attitude that led to adultery was wrong.
Jesus said that it was a sin for a man to look at a woman with lust in his heart. In fact, He said that a man who did so had already committed adultery. Some people have tried to twist Jesus’ teaching by saying, “Well, I looked at her with lust which means I’ve already committed adultery. I might as well go ahead and commit adultery if I’m guilty of it.”
No, no, and no! Looking at the woman lustfully is one sin – sleeping with her is another sin! The first one does not excuse the second one!
Purity Is Important
What Jesus said in verses 29 and 30 emphasizes how important purity is, “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.”
Jesus is using exaggerated language to make a point. Cutting out your eye might not take care of your lust problem – the problem is with your heart, not your eye. (Something to think about – a blind person can lust.) Jesus is calling believers to use the sexual relationship as God designed it – in the confines of a marriage between a man and a woman. He is also teaching that we have to take improper desires seriously because they get in the way of our relationship with God.
Enjoy the sexual relationship within marriage and seek God with your whole heart.
Do you agree with the following statement, “Sinful acts have more devastating consequences than sinful thoughts?” Why or why not?