God’s Word. We hold it in our hands and pour into each verse desiring to be changed, comforted, and healed. His Word is living and active. I have read Matthew Chapter 5 for a few days–a familiar chapter; yet, I’m drawn to a deeper understanding. I think the more I pray and seek the Holy Spirit’s wisdom, the more I realize the complexity but also the simplicity of Jesus’ Words that seek to give us a beautiful life.
Jesus told us that he came not to abolish the laws of Moses, but to fulfill them. He reminded us that we are to be the salt and the light of the world, then addressed a deeper understanding of murder, adultery, divorce, oaths, relationships, and how to deal with those who hurt you–an enemy.
Jesus took legalistic laws and caused us to dig deeper. You may not have murdered, but Jesus warns us that it’s not healthy to be angry and bitter. You may not be in the actual act of adultery, but Jesus warns us about lust. He calls us to go the extra mile when relationships are hard.
Upon the first read of this chapter the complexity of what Jesus is calling us to do, to be, is rather overwhelming and seems impossible. It is impossible within your own strength. That’s the simplicity of the verse! When we acknowledge we can’t do this alone and call upon Jesus to guide us in every moment, we find a peace and renewed outlook on life!
Raising three daughters in an overly sexual world, I realize why Jesus wants to protect us from lust. Our children are growing up with a world that encourages them to lust. There are recent books and movies that we as Christians should be appalled and saddened by, but we are buying them, and can’t wait to see the movie. God’s design for marriage is not found in shades of grey. His truth is not grey–it’s clear, but we struggle with our flesh to obey. Someone who murders begins with anger. That’s why Jesus said that he “added” to the rule of murder–“But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.”
And any affair, begins with lust.
“But I say: Anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Protect your mind, your heart, your current marriage, or future marriage–let go of books, movies, the world’s ideals about sex and intimacy, and guard your heart for it truly is the wellspring of your life.
Fueled by selfish passion, adultery violates the sanctity of another person’s being and relationships; love, by contrast, seeks what is best for a person, including strengthening their marriage. Adultery usually involves considerable rationalization, justifying one’s behavior as necessary or loving; but lust is the mother of adultery, the demonic force that allows human beings to justify exploiting one another sexually, at the same time betraying the most intimate of commitments where trust ought to abide secure even if it can flourish nowhere else. Lust demands possession; love values, respects and seeks to serve other persons with what is genuinely good for them. Lust is always incompatible with acknowledging God as the supreme desire of our hearts, because it is contrary to his will. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series