(2) Jesus’ second illustration is about adultery.
Adultery, in scripture, has to do with breaching the covenant of marriage.
People who love as Christ loves protect their marriage covenant. When a married person allows their physical passions to sweep them away with someone who is not their spouse, the reason is not that they love this other person other too much. The reason is that they each love their own pleasure too much and love the oher other person too little.
In real love, there is at the same time respect and self-control which seeks to build the other person up in Christ. Real love saves from sin. You cannot commit adultery and call it making beautiful love. In God’s sight it is the deepest possible betrayal.
Even toying with temptation,
* Reading books, or magazines that you know will excite those desires,
* Or watching a show,
* Flirting with someone you are attracted to
* Pretending to be single
* Looking at certain material,
* Or listening to that kind of music,
* Giving your fantasy life free reign
* Or talking dirty just for fun....
God considers all of this evidence of a betraying heart -- That's what Jesus was saying.
Jesus said it’s better to cut that right out of your life, even though it feels like you’ve just poked your eye out, or chopped off a vital part of your body, than to keep that in your life.
Why does He say that? That’s so harsh!
"For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell."(Matthew 5:29 ESV)
Did you know it meant that much to God? Look at what Jesus said next,
"...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." (Matthew 5:30 ESV)
* What have you been unwilling to cut off, even though you know it leads you into temptation and worse?
Jesus is saying deal with sin immediately and decisively. Don’t taper off, cut it off.
If you find yourself feeling helpless in this area of your life, that it has a stronger draw than you feel you have the energy, or even the “want to” to resist, then talk about it with a trusted, wise, spiritually mature friend or counselor who would keep your confidence, who would pray fervently and faithfully with you about this, and help you think through practical ways you can develop fresh new thought patterns and habits.
Adultery corrupts marriage, and marriage is the illustration of God’s love for you and me.
God's love is pure, and faithful, His love is whole, and that is what He desires from us, and for us, too. When you come to God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, God merges your life and His together, and He gives you His Spirit to live within you.
In a mysterious way, when a man and woman marry, the Bible says their lives merge together too, and they become “one flesh.” God has given us marriage as a way of living this kind of love out every day, of understanding what it means to sacrifice for love, and to be faithful, to be pure, and whole-hearted in love.