The Jesus Manifesto is radical. Jesus changes the way things work in the new covenant (aka contract, agreement or testament). There are 6 references to “You have heard it said” where Jesus takes things to a higher level.
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
Source: Matthew 5:27-30 (ESV)
Yikes! This one is about adultery. No longer can I feel righteous because I haven’t committed the physical act of adultery. I have been lustful which Jesus now says is the same as adultery.
What did the 10 commandments say? Of course, we know we are not to commit adultery. God was clear with the Jewish people and he was serious. Moses laid it out. No adultery. Over time, the religious attitude became, I haven’t killed anyone, I haven’t committed adultery, I must be a good person in God’s eyes.
Jesus says “Nope”! Jesus isn’t having any of that kind of thinking.
What is the “Jesus rule”? Lust is the same thing as adultery. The new law from Jesus takes it to a level where it is a matter of the heart. In our heart, all of us men know we lust after women. I must focus on lust as an issue and not feel righteous because I have not committed adultery. This is a big one.
How do I deal with it? Jesus challenges us to find what is causing the lust and get rid of it in my life. Certain shows on TV? Certain movies? Pornography? Find the triggers and rip them out.
That is the Jesus Way. Jesus gives us the power of the Holy Spirit to see us through temptation.