Motive of Conformance

Hillside Thoughts for Saturday – Day 274 of the year 2022 – October 1

Matthew 5:28  “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”


The sermon on the grassy hillside continued with a comparison between the law of the Pharisees and the living law of Jesus. In this comparison, Jesus used an example from the Ten Statements handed down to Moses from the very voice of God. 

Infidelity is the unfaithfulness of a love. It is an act of betrayal. The disciples look at each other with a calm assurance, “Not much of that going on here.” But Jesus goes further and points to the attitude of betrayal.  To look with a wrong motive is now out of bounds. Jesus was explaining to us hillside dwellers that betrayal is more than an outward act.

Quite a few of the multitude take a dramatic breath.  They are shocked.  It was easy to say I have not betrayed anyone. Nevertheless, Jesus said a simple and seemingly uncontrollable desire brings conviction.  Jesus convicted us all before God. If the constraining law was only an outward act, there is only puffed-up chests and egos. The inner heart is a betrayer.

This view of the intent of God had little to do with outward acts. My outward righteousness is not enough. My ability to do the right thing at the right time in the right place was not enough.  I need God’s righteousness in my life. It is provided by Him for me.  The law should drive us to Jesus.