Summary: Matthew 5:27-30 Lust and flirting – marriage’s kryptonite
Lust and flirting – marriage’s kryptonite
Marriage. The 21st century - where is marriage in the 21st century? Where is it going? A hot topic in the news is gay marriage. But some wonder what the fuss is about, - after all, most couples these days live together, try it out beforehand, before they formally tie the knot. And in the eyes of the law, these de-facto marriages have just as much legal standing as a legal marriage. Why? Well people don’t want commitment. And of course, even if you are in a legal marriage, it is easy to end it and go and find someone else. Today’s society treats marriage as an option, and the focus is all about “me” - what “I” want.
Kids are often the product of marriages – and non-marriages. I am constantly amazed to hear today of the multitude forms of blended marriages - people with multiple mums and dads, some of whom hate each others’ guts. And today we are urged that to be progressive, we should even have same sex adoptions so that kids can have multiple mums and no dads or vice versa.
Marriage. We’ve got our ideas about marriage, but, friends – our ideas are not important. One of the first things that God did when He made people, was to found the institution of marriage.
Genesis 224 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
God is serious about marriage, and our next two sermons in Matthew are about marriage and about protecting marriage - that sacred union between a man and a woman, where two people become one. When we read Matt 5:27-32 it looks like Jesus is teaching us about adultery. Why? What’s that got to do with marriage? Because it is adultery that destroys marriages. Adultery is like kryptonite to marriage. And so today as we look at Matt 5:27-30, it looks at adultery of the mind, the things that can lead to destroying our marriages. And the following few verses, which we won’t get to for a few weeks time because next week and the following we have guest speakers, talk about divorce – when the marriage is ruptured. So hold on to your seatbelts, like last Sunday’s sermon on murder and anger and when Christians have something against other Christians, this sermon is also tough - but it is necessary. And I also need to warn you now that because of the topics covered in today’s passage, if you have young kids here and you haven’t talked to them yet about the birds and the bees, then you might want to take them down to Kingdom Kids because we’ll be talking about the birds and the bees today. Not in a crude way, but in order to understand what Jesus is saying to us today. In verse 27 Jesus repeats the 7th commandment from the Old Testament:
Matthew 527 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
Fine, I think, I’ve never committed adultery. I’ve always been faithful to Marcela – I’ve never slept with another woman. And I know here today many of us can say that about our spouses - although I realise that some of you here today may have actually committed adultery, and we will talk about that in a few weeks time. But before I can get all smug because I’ve never committed adultery, Jesus then continues with the next verse, which I’m sure most of us know!
Matthew 528 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Now that makes it a lot harder. I’ve hung around for guys long enough to know that most of us have committed this sin at some stage, and many people – men in particular – constantly struggle with it. But we do need to ask what exactly this verse means. Normally it is taken with the meaning that if a bloke sees an attractive woman - whether in the flesh, or in a magazine, on the TV or on the internet - and lusts after her, that that is what this verse is talking about. And it’s true that it does include this. But this verse is actually talking about a lot more than men looking at attractive women and thinking the wrong thing. This passage is talking about the things that can undermine a marriage, and the biggest killer of a marriage is adultery.
And so we need to ask – what is adultery? Well, let’s not mince words. Adultery is either someone who is married who has sex with anyone who isn’t their spouse, or anyone, even a single person, who has sex with a married person. That is, two people have sex and at least one of them is married, but not to each other. And next time I preach on Matthew, we’ll be having a closer look at what God’s definition of marriage is. So I guess all the singles might be asking a question now: does that mean it’s okay for me to have sex with another single person since neither of us are married? Well – no, because while sex between two single people before marriage is not adultery, it is fornication, or in modern words – a type of sexual immorality. And I need to remind you that other parts of the Bible say that any sex outside marriage is wrong, even if both parties are single.