March Like Jesus
… In Our Behavior – Part IV
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:27-30
Key Verse: Matthew 5:28
“But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart”.
As we continue our study of Jesus’s “marching orders”, we come to the tough subject of lust.
Those that Jesus was talking to understood that the Law said they were not to commit adultery. However, Jesus stunned them with His marching orders of not even looking at a woman with lust in their hearts. Then He further blew them away with the statement that lust in their hearts was the same as adultery.
This was another example of what Jesus meant when He said earlier that their righteousness had to surpass that of the Pharisees. In other words, God is looking at the hearts and motivations of His people, not just their actions. In this example, God knows when a person has lust in their heart, they want to commit adultery even if they never have the chance.
As we look at our Key Verse for today, I want to remind especially us men that Jesus does not say we must never look at a woman with thoughts of her beauty. Jesus said we must never look at a woman with lust. Lust is far more than simply acknowledging that someone is pleasing to the eyes.
Lust is a craving that is so strong that one is willing to commit sin. Thus, it is sin to allow such thoughts to remain in one’s mind. The key to that last sentence is the phrase “allow such thoughts to remain”.
We cannot stop thoughts from coming into our minds (my godly mother used to say, “we can’t keep birds from flying over our head, but we can keep them from building a nest on it.”). To keep our thoughts from turning into lust, we must at once force our eyes and minds to purer sights and thoughts.
How serious was Jesus about these marching orders? If you read today’s Scripture Reading, you know that He was extremely serious. Jesus said to “gouge out an eye” or “cut off your hand” if it is causing you to sin.
Jesus was not being literal with these statements. We know that because we could still sin with one eye gone and one hand cut off. What Jesus is saying is to do whatever it takes to stop sinning because allowing sin to remain results in an eternal separation from God and His Kingdom.
Jesus did not avoid talking about the horrible consequences of missing all the wonders of heaven. Look how Jesus describes the eternal place for those who choose sin over righteousness: a place of “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:42).
Get an accountability partner or seek Christian counseling… whatever it takes to break any chains of sin in your life!
Father, please help me in my hour of temptation to think through the results of sinning. I ask this in Jesus’s Name, amen.