Summary: Part 5 of a 13 week series Hearing Jesus Again. This message looks at another comparison of the Kingdom Heart with the non-kingdom heart by looking at what Jesus says about sexual attraction.
Jesus on Sexual Attraction
Part 5 in series Hearing Jesus Again
Wildwind Community Church
June 7, 2008
Many scholars have suggested that the Sermon on the Mount wasn’t actually a sermon but rather a random collection of sayings attributed to Jesus. However, if you haven’t already begun to see it, you will certainly see as we continue on that the Sermon on the Mount has a very tight structure to it – that one thought and section flows logically into another thought and section. It begins with the Beatitudes, Christ’s words on who the Kingdom of God is for (all those willing to cultivate the kinds of hearts that can be at home there). Then Jesus gives us examples of the difference between the old system of righteousness (based on observance of rules) and the new system he is introducing (based on what’s in the heart). Jason talked to you two weeks ago about anger and contempt and how Jesus showed us that they are at odds with a kingdom heart. Today we move into sexual attraction. Now let me ask you this question and you will see how organized the Sermon on the Mount actually is. What if I could snap my fingers and eliminate from the planet right now all violence (which springs from anger and contempt), and all sexual sin? How close to perfect would the world be? In Jesus’ first two comparisons of the old righteousness with the new righteousness, he takes up the topics of violence (anger/contempt) and sex. Are we not embroiled to this day in controversy over these two subjects? Do not our media pundits and pastors and teachers and scholars endlessly go round and round about how to deal with sex and violence? (Here I am not saying sex itself is wrong, only that many of the greatest problems in both individual human life and in society spring from it). Apparently things in Jesus’ time were no different. And why should they have been? People in Jesus’ day were people. They were people who got angry, people who got horny, people who craved both relationship and revenge, people who, like us, were often torn between the need for commitment and the desire for casualness. Like us, they were spiritual and physical. Heroic and cowardly. Authentic and artificial. They were just people. This is who Jesus spoke to and advised and healed and taught and loved, and whose hands he suffered and died at – and whose sins he redeemed. Just people.
In week 3 we talked about the Kingdom heart – how God created us to live from the heart, but how that has gone wrong in our hearts that are darkened by sin and how our hearts often steer us wrongly into doing harm to ourselves and/or others. When you take the need human beings have for spiritual/physical connection (expressed partly in sex), and our tendency to flare up into anger when we have been hurt, and the depth with which we can hurt and be hurt with our sexuality, then you have a potentially very explosive concoction with sex and violence.
Jesus began dealing with contempt by using one of the ten commandments – you have heard it was said, “do not kill.” Likewise he begins this section by using another of the ten commandments.