“Everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell” (Matthew 5:28-29).
Basically, Jesus wants us to understand that adultery begins long before the very act of sex.
By merely looking at a woman lustfully, desiring to see her nakedness or imagining her in bed, the sin of adultery has happened already. The one who looks with impure motives and the one who grabs are guilty of the same sin.
In simple terms, Jesus is raising the standards for us. Yesterday, Jesus said if our righteousness does not go beyond the level of hypocrisy (hide and seek), we cannot enter the kingdom of God.
So, it is not enough that we avoid the very act of sex, we must also avoid even having to think about it; we must be totally pure in heart in order to enter the kingdom of God.
Does it seem as though Jesus is laying a heavy burden on us? Is Jesus asking for too much? If your answer is yes, then at least now you understand why you have been struggling in the area of sexual purity. The solution to the problem of adultery, fornication, masturbation and so on is purity of heart.
We must wash the inside first so that the outside can be clean as well. Your mind is a factory, it is the kind of ingredients you put into that determines your whole life (Cf. Proverbs 4:23).
Jesus says “if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away.” In very practical terms, Jesus is saying that all sexual sins have root causes, they do not happen in a vacuum, something always leads to something before that big something happens. Your right eye is that something you often take for granted or consider as normal but then, it has a potential of landing you into sin.
For instance, you have a friend you enjoy his/her company.
Hours seem like minutes when you are together, you are able to relax and talk freely with this person because you trust him/her. Friendship by itself is very good; we are social animals. Nevertheless, when this friendship begins to go towards the direction of incessant physical touches, unwholesome jokes, erotic discussions and so on, then as Jesus advises, it is time to cut it off and throw it away. It is better to enter heaven without any friend than to be in hell with the award of the world’s most friendly person.
Furthermore, Jesus expresses His mind with regards to the issue of divorce.
It is not the will of God that a man and a woman having been joined together in marriage should ever separate. Divorce is always a painful thing which leaves permanent scars both in the couple themselves and their children. Jesus wants us to do everything to cherish and protect the institution of marriage which is just as old as humanity. If we are truly Christians who practice the kind of righteousness Jesus is preaching, then the issue of divorce like adultery would never arise.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, cleanse my heart from all impurities and make my body a temple fit for you to dwell, Amen!
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Friday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: 2 Corinthians 4:7-15, Psalm 116 and Matthew 5:27-32).