Matthew 5:27-29 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.
To many, Jesus might sound like a religious extremist. His words remind me of the Old Testament penalty for adultery which was death by stoning. Jesus is even stricter--according to him, the thought is as bad as the deed! What does he mean about 'tearing out our eye' to avoid sinning? In our culture, where we are continually exposed to sexually provocative ads and other images, we'd all be blind by the time we reached puberty!
Of course, without the whole story, it is easy to dismiss Jesus as 'out-of-touch' or too demanding. Will we really go to hell for even a single, lustful thought? What Jesus is impressing upon us is the full impact of God's law. No human being can live a life as pure as the law of God demands. No human being, that is, except God's Son, measures up to God's demand of perfect holiness. In his Sermon on the Mount, he begins by saying he did not come to do away with the law, but to fulfill the law for us. Come and hear more this Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
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