Bible Studies For Life

Distinct in My (Jesus’) Relationships                Session 11                   14 FEB 16

MATT 5:27 Jesus continues His discussion of what the Beatitudes really mean. As with the Sixth Commandment in Matt 5:21-26, Jesus uses the Seventh to again stress the spiritual principle that intent is as sinful as the actual action. Jesus again notes that the common people “heard” the Old Testament because they could not afford to own one. Then he quotes the Seventh Commandment: (Exo 20:14 RSV) ""You shall not commit adultery." In the Hebrew “adultery” means 5003 na'aph, naw-af'; a prim. root; to commit adultery; fig. to apostatize:--adulterer (-ess), commit. The Greek Jesus used was 3431 moicheuo, moy-khyoo'-o; from G3432; to commit adultery:--commit adultery. This means that neither marriage partner is to have sex with anyone except the marriage partner. It is the Law of God to preserve the integrity of the marriage. (Gen 2:24 RSV) "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh."

MATT 5:28 But Jesus moves to a person’s intentions. He uses the situation of a male look upon a female. It has been well documented in today’s society that females look upon men as well. So Jesus’ principle applies equally to the man and the woman. Note carefully that “looks” here in the Greek means to keep on deliberately looking at a person with the view of lusting after that person. The appearance of a person to the opposite sex is a God-designed way of stimulating an attraction to that person. Such is normal and Jesus himself had sexual urges concerning some women. (Heb 2:14 RSV) "Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil," (Heb 2:17 RSV) "Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people." Thus it is not just noticing and admiring that is the sin. It is taking it to deliberate lust that is the sin. It goes to “the heart.” “Heart” to the Greeks was the seat of the will. The person consents within to do the action if it were possible or even taking steps to try and make it possible. But this also makes the other person have a responsibility not to be guilty of encouraging temptation.

MATT 5:29-30 This is so serious that Jesus used hyperbole or overstatement of a matter for the purpose of emphasis to make the point. So Jesus used an eye and a hand as his hyperbole as the seeing and doing of the lust. Jesus used the word meaning to denote a trap set in a pathway to cause one to stumble and fall. So a part of the will that is not under control is like a trap ready to make one sin. Here Jesus used Gehenna again: i.e. Hell. Since Jesus was not talking about a literal body, how then are we to cast of a bad heart eye or hand? (Eph 4:22-24 RSV)  "Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, {23} and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, {24} and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." Note (Eph 5:3 RSV) "But fornication and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is fitting among saints." “Immorality” is the same word Jesus used in (Mat 19:9 RSV) "And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery."" It means immorality of any kind including sexual. Paul expands on the solution in (Eph 5:7-11 RSV) "Therefore do not associate with them, {8} for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light {9} (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), {10} and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. {11} Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them." Again we are pointed to Peter’s Spiritual Growth Process in 2 Pet 1:5-7. Note (Rom 12:2 RSV) "Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." “Mind” means the whole inner self including the heart. (Rom 6:19 RSV) "I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification."

MATT 5:31-32 The Jews looked upon marriage with high regard as a male institution with the wife as part of the husband’s property. The Greeks saw marriage only as a way to have legal children and have someone take of you when you got older. Other women were a right of manhood. The Romans in the beginning thought of marriage in a very Christian manner but when they became the Roman Empire, the lusts of slaves caused them to adopt the Greek view. Jesus never agreed with any of these views. Here he quotes (Deu 24:1-2 RSV)  ""When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a bill of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs out of his house, {2} and if she goes and becomes another man's wife," Before Moses’ day and the Law, whether married or not, a woman was the property of her husband. No proper man would marry a divorced woman. Thus she was forced to make a living any way she could. The Law did not stop divorce but put some humanity into it. From then on, a woman could legally remarry after a divorce. But all a husband need do to divorce is to say so in front of two witnesses. The Rabbis over the years sought to define “finds no favor” and they came up with almost anything a man wanted it to be. Now Jesus was drastically cutting the definition back to immorality. The Greek is again the same as in Matt 19:9, immorality of any kind. So this includes physical abuse as well as sexual adultery. This was such a hot issue with the Jesus the Pharisees though they had Jesus with it in (Mat 19:3 RSV) "And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?"" Again Jesus said only immorality.

            We must keep in mind that repentance brings forgiveness and cleanness from God. (1 John 1:7 RSV)  "but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:9 RSV) "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

MATT 5:33 This references (Exo 20:7 RSV) ""You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain." This commandment does not forbid taking an oath in a court unless a person lies.

MATT 5:34-37 There were two Jewish customs that Jesus was referring. (1) The Jews took an oath before saying most anything to show they were telling the truth. This made the practice meaningless. (2) The more serious act of formal oath-taking or swearing. However, no Jew considered an oath as binding unless they use the name of God in it. Only those oaths that directly invoked the divine name were considered absolute or binding. But Jesus said a person should not have to do either to have a person know s/he spoke the truth. It should be able to come down to a simple “Yes” or “No.” Christians should always tell the truth. This doesn’t mean it is always best to tell all the truth you know all of the time. If the Christian has no integrity before the lost why should they believe the Gospel?


            We need to remember that the Law of Moses applied to Jesus’ saved disciples until the Father raised Him from the dead. Jesus kept all the Law (fulfilled its requirements). And we need to remember that the Law of Moses does not apply to us after Jesus’ resurrection. So we are not to do all that Jesus did. But we are to live the principles that Jesus lived to try to achieve (Mat 5:48 RSV) "You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." This is based upon (Lev 19:1-2 RSV) "And the LORD said to Moses, Say to all the congregation of the people of Israel, You shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy."  Also (John 13:34 RSV) "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another."


Marvin Ganote, Hobbs Study Class, Adult Teacher. Home Page: