Matthew 5:27-37 Another Way To Dehumanize People

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[e] 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.

31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’[f] 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.[g]

Another Way To Dehumanize People

Jesus, it is hard to be thoughtful of people as persons.  So soon people become objects or commodities.  I know that women can become objects of fantasy.  We can create a world in the mind that is unreal and it devalues our spouse.  The real world of relationship requires sacrifice and patience.  We need to reveal ourselves bit by bit to one person until they stand out from all others.  then we need to commit to a relationship of intimate self-disclosure.  We need to create a safe-place for our spouse to share without condemnation.  We need to pursue total sex: the meeting of mind, body, and spirit which can only happen in a marriage.  So soon we become consumers or predators, thinking that a stranger will satisfy.  How can we forget all that we have invested at home?

Help us not to engage in fantasy which reduces a person to a caricature or cut-out.  Help us to take time to see the beauty in commitment, relationship, and affirmation.  Help us to be a safe place where divorce is never thought about.

Questions

  1. Why did people get divorced?
  2. What did jesus say was a legitimate divorce?
  3. What wrong thinking led to divorce?
  4. How does a consumer society lead to divorce?
  5. Why does God want people to marry and stay married?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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