Bible Study Lesson, Matthew 5:27-30
Many people don’t like to admit it but lust and infidelity have ruined more relationships than anger or any other reason – except for finance. He is very clear in this passage.
We all have feelings about adultery from time to time but most don’t realize that thinking is the same as acting in God’s eyes.
Jesus Teaches about Lust
“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 lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
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.
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. – Matthew 5:27-30 NASB
What a US President Said about Lust
Former President Jimmy Carter once gave an interview about being a “born again” Christian and the news picked up on one profound statement he made; “I have sinned in my heart.”
This passage from the Bible is not only about sins of the flesh but sins of the heart.
Actions Vs. Thinking
The Old Testament law states that it is wrong for a person to have sex with someone other than his or her spouse (Exodus 20:14). But Jesus said that the desire to have sex with someone other than your spouse is mental adultery and thus sin.
Jesus emphasized that if the act is wrong, then so is the intention.
To be faithful to your spouse with your body but not your mind is to break the trust so vital to a strong marriage. Jesus is not condemning natural interest in the opposite sex or even healthy sexual desire, but the deliberate and repeated filling of one’s mind with fantasies that would be evil if acted out.
My pastor put it this way; “It’s not looking at a beautiful woman that is sin – it’s the second look.”
‘the eye or the hand’
Is Christ asking us to gouge out our eye or cut off our hand? Of course not.
Jesus was speaking figuratively and is not asking you to do yourself harm. We sometimes tolerate sins in our lives that, left unchecked could eventually destroy us.
Christ is stating here sometimes it is better to experience the pain of removal (getting rid of a bad habit or something we treasure, for instance) than to allow the sin to bring judgment and condemnation.
We need to examine our lives for anything that causes us to sin, and take every step we can to remove it. God will help if we ask.
Love in Christ
If you would like to find out more about how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to see John 3:16 to get information.