Tuesday, May 15, 2007



Matthew 5:27-30

27 You have heard that it was said, `YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY'; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than, for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. 

In the same way that an angry heart is murdering someone, so is lusting after someone in your heart committing adultery. Again, the religious are most concerned about whether or not they could be viewed as having committed adultery. Jesus is saying there is something deeper (internal) that counts most.

Jesus is teaching a couple of significant things here: FIRST-Lust in your heart for another is committing adultery. According to Jesus, if you have ever lusted after another, then you are an adulterer. Note that this has nothing to do with a physical or emotional affair; this is a matter of the heart. We tend to draw the line as good Pharisaical believers at "having sex" with another. But Jesus erases all lines and calls the lust in your heart adultery. So, are you an adulterer? Sadly, I am. I don't know of anyone with a pulse who isn't.

SECOND-Do whatever you have to do to keep from stumbling. This is like a doctor cutting off a limb to save a person's life. It's Jesus' use of hyperbole and is not to be applied literally. However, it points to the seriousness of violating the principles of God.

Jesus is pushing very hard at this point. There is literally no way out of being convicted of this sin. You see, Jesus is setting it all up. God requires perfection. Plan A says that you must be perfect. But since no one is able to rise to this perfection, you must move toward the perfection of Jesus, the Messiah. That's Plan B.

NOTE ONE MORE THING: In both of the first two illustrations here Jesus says that those who lust or are eaten up with anger are seriously deserving of hell. Jesus won't ease up on matters of the heart. He insists on performing surgery on each of us. Here's the point. If you think you have reason to view yourself as self-righteous, then think again. You are totally guilty, due to the quiet lusts of your heart.

So Jesus starts by calling you a murderer and now an adulterer. I mean to tell you, there's no way out, EXCEPT through Jesus. You are guilty at the core of your being-your heart-and only Jesus can get you out of this planet alive.

"I am the way, the truth, and the life AND I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, even though he dies, shall live."