Jesus & Sexual Desire
In the Western world we are inundated with the idea that the pursuit of our sexual desires is of primary importance. And that the fulfillment of those desires is central to what it means to live a good life. We see this constantly reiterated in advertising, social media, movies, television and in many of social norms we experience.
- How do you think making sexual desire such a central aspect of our culture has affected us?
- How, if at all, do you think Jesus’ singleness influences or challenges our understanding of the role that sexual desire plays in a life “lived to the full?”
Today we’ll see how and why Jesus challenges the lust of the heart.
Read Matthew 5:27-30
It can be easy to grow familiar with Jesus’ words, but it’s important that we try to understand them from the perspective of his original hearers.
- What impact do you think this language of tearing out an eye and cutting off a hand had on Jesus’ original audience?
- How do you think you would have received this if you were there hearing these words from the mouth of Jesus for the first time?
In verse 28, we see that Jesus’ target is the lust of the heart. He is not condemning all sexual attraction or the recognition and appreciation of beauty. Sex, practiced in line with God’s will, is a good gift from God.
- So, what is lust and how does it differ from biblical love?
- What is the danger of equating any and all sexual desire with sin?
Jesus, like he so often does, cuts through things to get straight to the root of the issue. Let’s close by considering the implications for our lives.
- In what ways does Jesus’ charge to eliminate lust from our hearts protect us from dehumanizing people?
- How does Jesus’ radical message of grace fit with these intensified standards of obedience?