Weaving together the threads that make up my passion for the written word…as an author, editor, and follower of The Word.
In each of these sections, Jesus is again challenging conventional wisdom, “You have heard that it was said, but I say…” in regards to adultery, divorce, oaths, an eye for an eye, and love for enemies.
As with murder (yesterday’s post), He’s taking things a step further to show the seriousness and dangerous nature of sin, particularly habitual sin. Lustful thoughts lead to the act of adultery, including divorce. Breaking oaths made before God is offensive to God and wears down our integrity. Retaliation becomes a vicious cycle that needs to be broken in favor of true justice, and in order to imitate God’s perfect love, we must learn to love even our enemies. Otherwise, how are we any different than the “tax collectors” and “pagans”?
A new standard has been set to replace the conventional wisdom of the culture. And though we cannot literally “gouge out” or “cut off” our sin as if it is an eye or limb that can be removed, the process of trying to live by God’s standards matures us, better enabling us to do God’s work in the world, and letting His love flow through us to others. It sets us on the road to completion that begins in this life, and continues on into the next.
Lord, today I pray that you will open my eyes to my vulnerabilities…the places where silent, even seemingly innocent intentions, have the potential to grow into sinful actions that only serve to hurt me and my relationship with you. Help me to try to live by your standards rather than the world’s. Amen.
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