Adultery As Defined By Jesus: Part 2

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.

31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. – Matthew 5:27-32

I’m going to look at Jesus’s teaching on adultery in three parts: verses 27-28, verses 29-30, and verses 31-32. This is part 2.

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.

I don’t think I have ever considered the above passage in terms of adultery until now. The reason I do now is because the upcoming verses 31-32 continue to deal with this issue, so this seems to be the context.

In regards to lusting after someone, Jesus instructs that it would be better for us to pluck out our eye than to look after someone with lust. It would be better to cut off our hand than to even begin to touch a person in an adulterous manner.

Why?

Adultery leads to hell.

This is very true and in more than one way.

Relationships and families are torn apart, and next to murder, there are not many things you can do to a person that is worse. Having someone you trust betray you in such a way is devastating. It shatters your entire sense of self, reality, and sends you into a spiral of despair, mistrust, and self-hatred. The after-effects are the same as soldiers who experience PTSD. There are flashbacks, paranoia and hypervigilance, depression, anxiety, and avoidance—to name a few.

If the person who commits adultery cares about the person they harmed and they attempt to mend the relationship, they have to live with the devastating effects on the person they love. They have to deal with being mistrusted, questioned, emotional and physical distance from their spouse while they process what happened, and a great deal of questions and perhaps fighting as their spouse attempts to understand what went wrong, learn to forgive, learn to trust, and attempt to heal.

In many situations, the relationship does not mend. It ends. Then you have divorce, which is a tragedy in the eyes of God. However, because of the strain that adultery has on marriage, adultery and fornication (sex before marriage) are the only justified causes for divorce given in the bible. Divorce is serious. Marriage is supposed to mimic the relationship of the church with Christ. If the church is severed from Christ, the church dies.

Adultery and divorce are akin to death. They brings you to hell.

So, it is far better to pluck out your eye than to look at someone with lust. It is far better to cut off your hand than to touch someone in lust.

In the Old Covenant, adultery was punishable by death and this was just.

In Jesus Christ, we have the New Covenant—and there is forgiveness.

Forgiveness of our sins is an incredible thing and sometimes I think we take this too lightly because we are far removed from the justice of the Old Covenant.

This forgiveness was paid with a great price: the blood of the Son of God.

Should we be unfaithful to Him?

The Great Whore of Mystery Babylon is the figure of the unfaithful church. This is a spiritual church that exists in all time and in all nations. All kingdoms of this world are included. I mention the West specifically because that is my nation and my calling in ministry (not to leave out readers from other nations. I see you, appreciate you, and I hope you are helped in some way).

You can read about the Great Whore of Mystery Babylon in Revelation 17-19. We do not want to be of the Great Whore, but in some respects we already are. That is why we are instructed to “come out of her my people that you be not partakers of her sins and receive not of her plagues, for her sins have reached unto heaven and the Lord has remembered her iniquity.”

John Chapter 8 tells a beautiful story about a time when Jesus forgave an adulterous woman. He can forgive us also, but we have to repent and “go and sin no more.” We cannot continue to commit fornication with this world in a manner that disregards our Redeemer and Lord.

I don’t know how we all-together avoid fornication with this world. We would have to go out of this world because we have to live. For example, I don’t know how to live in this time without giving some of my money to evil men. That upsets me, but I don’t know what to do about it until the time comes when the Lord takes it all away. However, there are ways in which I can avoid fornication with this world with help from Jesus and the strength of His Spirit—and we can all continue to seek growth in this area.

We cannot love this world and love God also. Having lived in a prosperous nation, I do understand the temptation to loving this world. I have been through it too. I am also prone to fear over financial troubles and losing security and modern comforts like electricity, running water, and refrigeration. Sometimes I long to lose the digital world. I kind of hate it, though I do appreciate the way it has been used to spread the gospel and allows small ministers to speak without much expense.

In any case, if there come a time when we have to choose between losing it all—even our lives—for the Name of Jesus or joining with the false christ, then we have to stand strong with Him. I trust that we will. I believe that the chosen of God will be faithful because He will make a way just as He always did. He will strengthen us by His Spirit, and it is also true that for some “ten thousand will fall by your side but it will not come near you.”

However, a good heart towards our Lord is willing to give it all up, suffer for His sake, and trust in Him to raise us up again.

This is a high calling and not an ability that we naturally possess. We cannot rely on our strength. We would commit fornication. “Except those days had been shortened, no flesh would be saved. But for the sake of those He has chosen, He has shortened the days.” We can rely on His strength because He is faithful and true. Yet, let us seek Him so that we are prepared to stand with Him now because we do not take this matter lightly.

Start by looking for small ways that you can be more faithful to Jesus. Pray for Him to show you your attachments to this world and He will. Pray for Him to send you the Holy Spirit in power so that you can resist temptations and continue to grow in that direction. To Him belongs all power and strength and He will give it to His servants. I keep seeking too.

This article is part of a series that considers the Parables of Jesus. Right now, we are looking at the statements Jesus made during His Sermon on the Mount, to which He referenced in His Parable of the Building on Rock and Sand. Visit the link for quick access to all articles written within this series. Subscribe for notifications of future posts.

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