Summary: Though we think we are good Christians who have NEVER committed murder or adultery, Jesus says we have. This sermon shows how we have.
We Are Murders and Adulterers
20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
21"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.'
22But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire.
23Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
25Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.
26Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
27"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.'
28But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
I want to begin this morning with a true story.
July 8, 2015 Michael Suarez of Ypsilanti, Michigan, arranged to sell a pound of marijuana for $2,800. He and a couple of friends were to deliver the drugs in the wee hours of the morning to a couple waiting at a mobile home park. However, Suarez and his accomplices didn't bring marijuana to the drug sale. Instead, they brought a backpack full of dirty socks! Upon delivery of the backpack, Suarez and friends received payment of $2,800 and quickly drove away.
Racing from the scene, Suarez ran a stop sign and was pulled over by a police officer. During the traffic stop, the officer was approached by a man claiming to have been robbed by Suarez. Upon search of Suarez' vehicle, the officer found the $2,800 in cash made as payment for the backpack full of dirty socks. The officer suspected that the man crying "Thief!" had actually intended to buy drugs!
In Lenawee County Circuit Court Michael Suarez pleaded guilty to a charge of false pretenses of between $1,000-$20,000. His accomplices pleaded guilty to attempted possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. The "buyers" of the bag of dirty socks faced charges of attempting to purchase an illegal substance.
Suarez, guilty of false pretenses. The couple who accompanied him, guilty of attempted possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver. Finally, the couple who purchased the backpack of dirty socks, guilty of attempting to purchase an illegal substance. Yet, not one of them were ever in possession of an illegal substance! Everything that transpired would have been perfectly legal except for the abundance of evil motivation in their hearts. Unfortunately for these 5 persons, motive matters in the American justice system. As a result, no real marijuana was actually necessary for all parties involved to be guilty of playing a role in its sale.