Matthew 5.27-30 cont.
27 You have heard that it was said that: You shall not commit adultery”.
28 However, I tell that everyone looking at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29 but if you right eye causes you to sin, take it out, and throw it away from you. It is better for you that one of your body parts should be destroyed rather than your whole body should be cast into hell.
30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away from you. It is better for you that one of your body parts should be destroyed rather than your whole body should go into hell.
Before we leave these verses concerning adultery it is essential that we also look at how Jesus dealt with a case of adultery.
It is an incident that we read about in John chapter 8.1-11, where a woman, who had been caught in the act of adultery, was brought to Jesus by the scribes and Pharisees. They wanted Jesus to condemn her to death by stoning, which was the penalty for adultery.
Jesus gave them an answer that surprised and confounded them:
“Let the one who is sinless throw the first stone at her” – John 8.7.
We know that this single statement from Jesus caused the woman’s accusers to turn away and leave the scene.
Jesus was left alone with the woman, and He asked her if anyone was left to accuse her:
“Woman, where are they, does no one condemn you?”
11 But she said: “No one, sir.” Jesus said: “Neither do I condemn you. Now go and from now on sin no more.”
The last statement of Jesus does not condemn her for her adultery, but neither does He make light of it. By telling her not to sin any more Jesus was telling her, and us all, that she had sinned, and that her adultery was sin.
However, instead of condemning her to death by stoning He showed her mercy, grace, and love by commanding her to turn away from her sin and sin no more.
Jesus was displaying that where there is sin there is also more of the grace of God to forgive and restore the sinner.
From this one incident we can learn how to deal with those who have fallen into adultery, and it is to show the love, mercy, and grace of Jesus to rescue them from their adultery, and then to lead them into the paths of righteousness.
This action is all the more important when we fully understand that Jesus had just said that:
“everyone looking at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Therefore, the way in which Jesus dealt with this woman is the way we must all deal with one another.