Matthew 5:28 - The Sin of Lust

Mat.5:28; The Sin of Lust.

Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath
committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Mat 5:28 (KJV)

Jesus' words specifically condemned lust as a form of
adultery. [New Bible Companion]

Adultery is using another person as a sex object. Lust is
viewing another person as a sex object. Christ wants us to
realize that both the act and attitude are sinful.
Righteousness calls for us to view all human beings as
persons of worth and value. We are to serve others, not use
them. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]

If voluntary and deliberate looks and desires make
adulterers and adulteresses, how many persons are there
whose whole life is one continued crime! whose eyes being
full of adultery, they cannot cease from sin, <2 Pet. 2:14>.
Many would abhor to commit one external act before the eyes
of men, in a temple of stone; and yet they are not afraid to
commit a multitude of such acts in the temple of their
hearts, and in the sight of God! (Adam Clarke Commentary)

It was Jesus' teaching that thoughts are just as important
as deeds, and that it is not enough not to commit a sin; the
only thing that is enough is not to wish to commit it. . . .
By the world's standards a man is a good man, if he never
does a forbidden thing. The world is not concerned to judge
his thoughts. By Jesus' standards, a man is not a good man
until he never even desires to do a forbidden thing. Jesus
is intensely concerned with a man's thoughts.  [Barclay

The Old Testament law said that it is wrong for a person to
have sex with someone other than his or her spouse (Exodus
20:14). But Jesus said that the desire to have sex with
someone other than your spouse is mental adultery and thus
sin. Jesus emphasized that if the act is wrong, then so is
the intention. To be faithful to your spouse with your body
but not your mind is to break the trust so vital to a strong
marriage. [Life Application SB]

Gouge it out . . . cut it off (5:29-30) This is hyperbole, a
figure of speech in which exaggeration is used to emphasize
a point. Jesus used hyperbole here to get his listeners'
attention: Sin is deadly serious radical measures are
required to eradicate It. Persistent or recurring sin
jeopardizes spiritual life much as a gangrenous infection
threatens physical health. [Quest SB]

When Jesus said to get rid of your hand or your eye, he was
speaking figuratively. He didn't mean literally to gouge out
your eye, because even a blind person can lust. But if that
were the only choice, it would be better to go into heaven
with one eye or hand than to go to hell with two. We
sometimes tolerate sins in our lives that, left unchecked,
could eventually destroy us. It is better to experience the
pain of removal (getting rid of a bad habit or something we
treasure, for instance) than to allow the sin to bring
judgment and condemnation. Examine your life for anything
that causes you to sin, and take every necessary action to
remove it. [Life Application SB]

He who refuses to see, hear, taste, smell, or touch that
which is suggestive of sin has gone far toward avoiding
sinful thoughts. He who immediately banishes evil thoughts
when, momentarily, they may flash upon his consciousness,
thereby avoids the development of a habitual thought pattern
that conditions the mind to commit sin when the opportunity
presents itself. [SDA Commentary]

SEEING IS DOING - Both Jesus and the Old Testament teach
that God's law is concerned not only with external and
outward actions but also with the attitudes of heart and
mind that lead to the actions. The action as well as the
intent to carry out the action are both condemned as
violations of God's law. In the seventh commandment Jesus
includes the lustful look and the sinful imagination. There
is adultery of the body and adultery of the mind. Job spoke
of making a covenant with his eyes, and not gazing at a
virgin (31:1). Peter also makes reference to those who have
"eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin" (2
Pet. 2:14). Control of the heart and of the body begins with
control of the eyes. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit,
and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. Gal 5:16
(KJV)  [Daily Devotional Bible mod]

APPLICATION: How are you fulfilling Jesus' command to be
perfect before God? Do you fall short by lusting, lying,
cheating, coveting, or gossiping? When you battle one of
these temptations, instead of giving in, pray, sing a
worshipful song, or think of a memorized verse. Praise God
instead of giving in. [Inspirational SB mod]

It will require a sacrifice to give yourself to God; but it
is a sacrifice of the lower for the higher, the earthly for
the spiritual, the perishable for the eternal. God does not
design that our will should be destroyed, for it is only
through its exercise that we can accomplish what He would
have us do. Our will is to be yielded to Him, that we may
receive it again, purified and refined, and so linked in
sympathy with the Divine that He can pour through us the
tides of His love and power. MB60-63