Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
“Thou shall not commit adultery” is one of the 10 commandments. Jesus says that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery in his heart. There were obviously some people at the time Jesus was teaching this that viewed this topic the same way many people view it today, in a “it’s ok to look, but don’t touch” kind of way. Jesus clarifies that this is not the case.
When I go through a premarital course with couples who want to get married, a large portion of our time together is dedicated to learning to communicate and to meet their future spouse’s needs. When needs go unmet and communication breaks down the chances of adultery increase dramatically. I admit that I am not an expert, but I believe that adultery generally begins slowly and develops over a period of time. I believe that adultery begins with some sort of premeditation, or as Jesus says a lustful look. That is one of the reasons why Jesus clarifying this commandment is so important. Without the premeditation of the lustful look, adultery doesn’t happen.
The family unit is the bedrock of any culture or nation. The family is God’s institution for teaching and raising the next generation, much more so than school and church. What happens when adultery happens? A family is often destroyed or at the very least, left hurting for a very long time. If adultery happens in a family, it resonates throughout society. If families crumble, society crumbles. It all starts with a lustful look. We probably don’t usually think it through to that degree, but you can see the magnitude of what Jesus is teaching. Be careful with what your mind does with what your eyes see. Society is depending on it.
Pastor Chris Miller