Matthew's Book Leader Notes - Session 6
Matthew 5:27-32 In these verses, Jesus further develops the theme that our internal lives are as important as our external lives. The topic in these verses is our sexuality. Jesus uses a literary tool known as hyperbole to make his point. Hyperbole is an exaggerated statement that is not meant to be taken literally. For example, no one who says they are “hungry enough to eat a horse” expects to actually eat a horse. Hyperbole is used to drive a point home with a punch.
In these verses, Jesus wants to drive home to points. First, God’s view of our sexuality is not limited to what we do physically. While Jesus is not saying that impure thoughts are equal to adultery, He is saying that God’s concept of purity even includes our thoughts and desires. Honoring God with our sexuality just got a lot more difficult!
Second, Jesus wants us to know that this is a big deal. His words about gouging out eyes and chopping off hands are not literal prescriptions, but we should not dismiss the intent of the message. Handling our sexuality in a healthy, God honoring way is very important and sometimes strong, decisive decisions and actions are needed. You don’t need to poke your eyes out, but maybe you need to cancel the cable or stop associating with that friend…