Chuck Foreman – Teaching / Missions Pastor
We’re learning from Jesus that God is not concerned that we simply keep the rules without understanding their intent. He is interested in our hearts—what’s going on inside us. Just as Anger is the Root of Murder, so is Lust the Root of Adultery. How real and honest are we willing to be?
Jesus was talking to people just like us who believed that since they hadn’t done the specific thing forbidden by the commandment, they were OK. They hadn’t actually committed adultery—had sex with anyone to whom they were not yet married, but gave themselves permission to follow a member of the opposite sex with their eyes, imagining and dwelling on the sexual act they would enjoy with that person if the occasion presented itself.
How is this different than believing you are right in hating your neighbor as long as you don’t kill him? It’s not. In both cases the only thing lacking to commit murder or adultery is the occasion. Just as the thief will steal if he/she has the opportunity, so the adulterer will have sex out of bounds if the opp is there.
The heart is not right. And God is always interested in our heart. This is Jesus’ point. Even if they had broken the commandment, they like us, missed the point that the big deal is not the act itself, but what precipitates it in our hearts.
WE need new hearts that desire not to fulfill our every desire. Adultery happens in the heart long before it happens in the body. We need new hearts that desire to love, respect and protect more than to lust and possess what is not ours to possess. God wants to give us that kind of heart. He will if we will.
Just as he spoke through the prophet…
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean;
I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;
I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.