Your Kingdom Come - Part 4

Your Kingdom Come (Part 4)

In the last post the challenge was to replace hate with love. Spoiler Alert!! The rest of this section of the Sermon on the Mount, ending at Matthew 5:48 will move us in the direction of loving the way God loves. Think about the love of God for just a minute. What are the characteristics? There are a couple of these traits that we will look at in this brief article, namely faithfulness and seeking the good for the other.

You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.  "It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 5:27-32 ESV)

I think we would be hard pressed to find someone in our churches who would disagree with Jesus on the subject of adultery. Committing adultery is an incredible evil that does a great deal of damage. Think of the betrayal of a spouse. The damage inflicted on families. Broken trust that will be incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to repair. The list can go on and on, yet it happens. 

Now, if we know it's wrong. If we know the damage. If we know the pain that can happen as a result. Why does this keep happening? Jesus tells us that it begins with lust. We might think that lust is sort of a "victimless crime." Who does it hurt? It reveals how we think about, how we see others. Lust reduces other human beings to mere objects for our own gratification. Soon we see not only the object of our lust as someone to be used, we also begin to think of the other people who will be damaged by the fulfillment of our lust as somewhat disposable.

It is interesting that Jesus is telling us that we should love without limit, but then seems to put limits on sex. Doesn't he know that sex and love are the same thing? The truth is that they are not, even though we try to equate the two. In our hyper-sexualized culture we have taken one expression of love - a wonderful expression of love given by God to be expressed within the covenant of marriage -  and made it the equivalent of, or even superior to, love. When that happens, people become objects instead of valuable people created in the image of God with real value and worth. 

As followers of Jesus we need to lead the way in living out the sexual ethics of people in the Kingdom of God. That means that we honor and appreciate the gift that God has given us. We use that gift as it was intended. Above all, we love. We love the way God loves. We look out for the needs of others and not just our own. We love in ways that honor God's good creation and the value he has placed on humanity. We refuse to objectify other human beings. We ask God to continually let us see people as he sees them and then act accordingly.

Written By

Jeff Grisham


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