27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
Well … we were eventually going to reach this passage and today we have. We all know it’s there; especially if we are male. How many times have we read this and thought, “I don’t think I could go without an eye” or “I would prefer the use of both hands, thank you.” Growing up, guys were taught that you could “look but you can’t touch.” Is that any real way to live?
The question: How serious was Jesus? He was serious enough to bring up hell (complete, eternal separation from the Triune God). The religious people assumed they were in the clear because they did not commit physical adultery. Jesus reminded his audience that He was about the heart. Jesus reminds us once again, “I am about the heart.” It wasn’t just physical adultery that was an issue – looking and dwelling were issues too. No one is innocent here.
Our deep need for satisfaction will never be met by the things we look at, think about, touch, etc. Our deep longings for missed affection or the lack thereof will never be met by another person or another thing. Our fleshly appetite will never be met with glances or gazes or mental scenarios. Our satisfaction and affection will only be quenched by Jesus Christ in Jesus Christ. He is enough.
Or is He?
Is Jesus enough gentlemen? Ladies, is Jesus enough? As a believer and follower of Jesus you have gained the rights to all that Jesus is and has and offers. Everything! All of it is yours in Christ Jesus. Have you stopped to think about that? You should. Where can you go to see it? I would start in Ephesians (New Testament book of the Bible) Chapter 1.
If only we would grasp the fact that in Christ we have all. Our flesh lies to us. The world lies to us. The adversary lies to us. We are so accustomed to believing lies that when the truth stares in the face we question it.
Don’t question it today. Trust and believe. Jesus is enough. He really, really, really is.
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
If you’ve ever left something at home and realized it as you drove away you remember having that “ummmm” moment. How we react speaks volumes. What we choose to do speaks volumes too. If it’s important we immediately turn around and go back home and get that thing we forgot. If it is not that important we debate in our mind whether going back is actually worth it. Our inner dialogue begins. We wait to see who or what wins out.
Jesus is after the heart. He is after our hearts. How we view others, react to others, and love others is vitally important. Jesus says that love sums up the Law and the Prophets. Translated, this is a big deal.
All of us attend church with other things on our minds. Often times it revolves around food or our tasks once we arrive. How often do we stop to do a heart check; to ask God if we have left any relationship, any conversation, which is in need of repair, unresolved? Remember, Jesus is after the heart. Our passage seems to say that the gift is important but the reconciled relationship takes precedent.
Now in our world of go, go, go we can’t fathom turning the car around on our way to church to heal a broken relationship. What we can do instead is work diligently to keep our relationships dedicated to and surrounded with Jesus. Don’t leave the scene of the crime, the accident, without repair. Don’t go be religious and forget the great commands of Jesus.
As we let Jesus live through us He will help us with this. As we keep our relationships whetted in Christ we won’t need to fret about such things. The more WE do to keep our relationships afloat the less we allow Jesus to engage, rearrange, heal, and bless those that we love and those we love to be with.
His Sermon is less about what we do and more about what He can and will do. Will you let Him? Will you let Jesus live His Life through you?
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
A Prayer …
Lord God, I was lost, hopeless, and helpless. I enjoyed my sin and I was your enemy. In your great love, grace, and mercy you rescued me; you saved me. I could never and can never save myself; no one can, no one will. I was poor in my flesh but I have become rich in Your Spirit. This world will never, can never possess what I truly need. I need you; every moment of every day. May I remain poor in the things of this world and seek only those things that you provide. They are all that I need. True satisfaction, true happiness is found in Jesus Christ. I await that Holy Rest for those of us that place their full trust and confidence in Jesus, the Messiah, our Lord and our God. Amen and Amen.