27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
Two juxtaposed opposites that are really different expressions of the same capacity for desire:
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
St. Augustine, 354-430, Bishop of Hippo, North Africa: The Confessions
“…the word ‘lust’ is taken to include normal interest in sex…”
US Supreme Court, in Washington-state case Brockett V. Spokane Arcades, 1985
What is Jesus doing here in these two passages that form our scripture for this morning?
Engaging in the same juxtaposition of seeming opposites:
1. Desiring God the Creator – love – the ancient Old Testament commandments summarized in two that that include the heart, the inner core person;
2. Desiring what God has made, creation – lust – Making it clear that the heart, the inner core person, is where God has placed our capacity for a desire that can be distorted.