27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’]28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Sexual desire and immorality was as explosive in the bible, as it is today. As a male growing up I always heard, “You can look but you cannot touch!” What exactly does that mean? Apparently, Jesus believes “just looking” can be an issue. He clarifies this when he says someone who looks at a woman lustfully, he has committed adultery in his heart. It would be easy to “split hairs” on this one, but I think Jesus is saying that lusting in this way is a heart issue. It is one thing to admire a beautiful man or woman, but it is another thing to stare, leer and fantasize about that person. The real thing Jesus is confronting again are those who say, “Well I won’t physically commit immorality, but do everything else.” The difference between looking, or even admiring, is what is going on in your heart. If you are married, this kind of behavior should be reserved for your spouse. This admonition is difficult for a lot of people, as there are a lot of gray areas. But if we can focus on our heart condition, we will fulfill the spirit not the letter of the law.
Jesus, the proverbs tell us, “Guard your hearts for they are the wellspring of all life.” May we guard our hearts from the lust that so often is rampant in our culture. May your Holy Spirit give us the gift of self-control.