February 3

Matthew 5:27-29 27"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, 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.

In Matthew 5:21, Jesus begins a string of 5 contradictions to commonly accepted sayings of the day. Each begins with "You have heard that it was said..." Then Jesus gives His correction with "But I say unto you..." The culture in which we live has commonly accepted ideas that we absorb without much thought as to their validity. Jesus was correcting the perception of those ideas in the culture of the people of God. He was getting down to the spirit behind the letter. They had focused on the technical meaning of the letter.

The people of Jesus' day knew that they were not to commit adultery. Jesus redefined what adultery is. His corrected interpretation included the action of the heart. The people of that day were adept at skirting around the edge of the Law. Jesus said that was a vain effort. Sin is too destructive to interpret in such a confined sense. Sin begins in the heart and mind of the individual before it becomes manifested outwardly. Sin is so destructive, so detrimental to our lives, so anti-God and all His goodness, that every form of it must be avoided. To play on the edge of a 100-meter cliff is to invite death.

It is so dangerous that Jesus recommends the amputation of any body part you can't bring under control. That is much better than the just judgment that would be yours. From the context of the whole of Scripture, we see that Jesus is talking about anything in life that would keep you from yielding your heart to Jesus as Lord. His presence in you can bring victory over your carnal desires. We crucify them with Him on the cross and live in resurrected life, new life. Has something kept you from inviting Jesus to reign in your heart? Whatever it is, it is not worth it.

Consider: Take the serious advice of Jesus to see the source of sin, which is your heart. Then surrender your heart to His control so that you don't find it necessary to become a blind, deaf and voiceless quadruple amputee.