Summary: We are all faced with stumbling blocks in our lives. But mnay times these stumbling blocks is placed in our way by ourselves. We are our own worst enemy. These stumbling blocks starts in our minds / hearts and we need to identify them and cast them away.
We are busy with a sermon series on The Sermon on the Mount.
In previous weeks we looked at where Jesus said that He did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.
And he said that our righteousness should be more than that of the Pharisees & Scribes.
So last week we looked at where Jesus said that murder has its beginnings in the heart where there is anger.
We should therefore ensure that we look not just at the symptoms of a sin, but at the heart of a sin.
Staying with that chain of thought our Lord moves to the next commandment.
We read about this in the following scripture: Matthew 5:27-30
Matthew 5:27-30 KJV
(27) Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
(28) But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
(29) And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
(30) And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Again, as in the case of murder, Jesus affirms the fact that adultery is against the law.
He says that “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, thou shalt not commit adultery”
So Jesus says that the law is there and it has been said to them from olden times.
This is an affirmation of the law,
And the law that Jesus is affirming here is that it is unlawful to commit adultery.
We read about this law in Exodus 20:14
Now this law also carried a harsh punishment with it.
We read the following in:
(10) "If a man commits adultery with another man's wife or with his neighbor's wife, both he and the woman must be put to death for their adultery.
(22) If a man is caught having sexual intercourse with a married woman, both that man and the woman must die. You must get rid of this evil in Israel.
(23) This is what you must do when a man has sexual intercourse with a virgin who is engaged to another man. If this happens in a city,
(24) take them to the gate of the city and stone them to death. The girl must die because she was in a city and didn't scream for help. The man must die because he had sex with another man's wife. You must get rid of this evil.
Let us pray
Adultery was a very serious offence for the Hebrew people.
It was so serious that it warranted death.
And notice that Jesus does not come and say that the offence is not serious.
In fact, He comes and he does exactly what He did with the sin of murder.
He fills it up.
He fills in the caps.
Again, the Lord is more worried about the heart of the act, because He knows that that is where it all starts out.
The majority of sins are predetermined sin.
It is something that you allow into your mind.
You start to nurture it.
You give it food and water and it starts to grow in your mind.
You build it up in your mind and it starts to take root.
And eventually it grows so big that you are no longer able to control it.
Your ability to control it diminishes the more it grows.
And then Jesus affirms this statement when He says that: “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
When we look at the word “lust” as used in this verse it gives us a very bad impression of the word used.
And the English word “lust” is indeed a bad word.
But I believe that the translation is a bit heavy here.
Why do I say that?
The original word that was used is the Greek word: epithumeō
Epithumeo is also translated to the English word “desire”
Now to desire something is not always a bad thing.
Jesus Himself said that He desired.
We read this in:
Luke 22:15 KJV
(15) And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:
The original translation for the word “desire” is the same word translated to “lust”
Paul also writes the following in: