Matthew 5:27-30 – “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 Now if your right eye is causing you to sin, tear it out and throw it away 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 And if your right hand is causing you to sin, cut it off and throw it away 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.” (NASB)
Once again, Jesus is showing us that wrong intention is as sinful in God’s sight as wrong deed. He certainly knows how to make us poor in spirit if we weren’t already.
In the Greek language, Jesus uses a word picture for a trap or snare. He says, if looking at someone becomes a trap for you where you begin to lust after them, get your eyes under control before you put your hand towards adultery. Hyperbole is being used by Jesus here to help us understand the serious consequences of lust and adultery when saying to gouge out your eye and cut off your hand. As painful as it may be to deny yourself, the consequences of giving in are more painful.
According to Covenant Eyes, virtual reality pornography will be a $1 billion business by 2025 to add to the already staggering $13 billion annual revenues for sex-related entertainment businesses. Just 55% of adults 25 and older believe porn is wrong. Nearly 27% of teens receive sexts and 57% search out porn at least monthly. The average age of exposure is 12 years old.
Jesus’ desire is to establish our hearts in such a way as to not even have a hint of sexual immorality amongst His people. God doesn’t want anyone objectified and used for selfish purposes. He wants to fill our hearts with His love, finding complete satisfaction in Him, that keeps our hearts from counterfeit comforts (idols). If we are struggling in the area of sexual purity, God has a path of healing if we’ll seek both Him and other Christians He has equipped to help get at root issues.
Heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for reminding us that you want to redeem sexuality as something that is sacred. Holy Spirit, remind us daily that Christ’s grace is sufficient in our weakness and temptations. May your church be a safe place with no ulterior motives. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.