In this section of his sermon, Jesus shows how obeying the letter the law doesn’t bring about God’s Kingdom. Last week he showed how it’s not enough to avoid murder (or violence). Believers must remove anger and unresolved conflict from their community. In verses 27-30, he shows how, in the kingdom, sexual purity involves avoiding adultery, but also lust. You see, Jesus has a very different idea of sexual purity than his contemporaries.
When someone commits Adultery (sexual relations with someone other than their spouse) they cause great pain for their partner. Lust affects people in ways that are less obvious, but still dangerous. At its heart, lust isn’t even really about sexual desire. It’s about placing my needs over the needs of others. It’s about using people for selfish purposes. This selfishness manifests itself in our thinking about sex.
When believers allow lust a foothold, they teach themselves to be selfish. They damage their ability to experience emotional intimacy. They isolate themselves and experience shame. All of this isn’t the life that Jesus desires for his people. God’s rules about sexual purity aren’t about stopping people from having fun. Instead, they’re about stopping us from experiencing the subtle but dangerous consequences lust causes.
Questions for Discussion
- Why do I think the Bible has so much to say about sex?
- Have you ever been treated as an object? How did it make you feel?
- Why is it so easy to see lust as harmless?
- What do you think God’s desire is for sexuality?
Other Sermons in this Series