10th Week in Ord. Time, Friday – 12th June 2020 — Gospel: Mt 5,27-32
Law doesn’t commend
Jesus talks about two types of adultery. In this text, he finds people guilty of mental adultery. Nobody gets off the hook on this charge of mental adultery. If this is the standard Jesus sets, then everybody will be condemned. There is also spiritual adultery. In Matthew 12,39 the scribes and Pharisees demand a sign from Jesus, and He calls them an adulterous generation. These are people who are blocks for spiritual growth, but actually were innocent when it comes to literal adultery. When Jesus speaks to the woman caught in the act of adultery, He says, “Go and sin no more.” What Jesus is saying is evangelistic! He condemns sin which is worthy of death. However, we need to understand that when Jesus says it is better to lose one member of your body than have the whole body thrown in hell, He is talking about eternal destruction. For the present moment, He is also saying mortify the flesh, and do it in the most dramatic way possible. What Jesus is saying is exactly what Paul says in 1 Cor 5. The Law’s purpose was not to make us perfect so we could get to heaven by good works. Its purpose is to show us that our hearts and our hands are unclean, that we have nothing to commend us before God. The reason that Jesus appears to be soft on the woman caught in adultery is because He came not only to show us we are all sinners, but He came to bear the penalty of our sin.