You have heard that it was said, “Do not commit adultery.” But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:27-28).
Well, isn’t this a lovely thought to start your day?
Jesus is talking about the relationship between husband and wife, and telling us that fidelity is a matter of the heart and not just the hands. On its own, that message is as timely today as it was in the first century. But Jesus is addressing more than the marriage relationship here. He is refocusing the philosophies that his listeners had grown up with. The Mosaic law that the Jews followed was external–what you ate, what you touched, where you went. Jesus is saying that God requires so much more than that. Love in God’s eyes is a matter of attitude, not just action. Jesus is continuing the process of, “Not abolishing…but fulfilling” that he began way back in verse 17. And he’s just getting warmed up.
Fasten your seat belt, Beloved.
This might get bumpy.