How do I interpret Matthew 5:28?
Matthew 5:27-29 NASB
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’;
28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for
her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your
right eye makes you [b]stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for
it is better for you [c]to lose one of the parts of your body, [d]than
for your whole body to be thrown into [e]hell."
ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ 5:28 1881 (WHNU)
28 εγω δε λεγω υμιν οτι πας ο βλεπων γυναικα προς το επιθυμησαι
[αυτην] ηδη εμοιχευσεν αυτην εν τη καρδια αυτου
NAS Exhaustive Concordance on the word
a prim. verb
to look (at)
beware (5), careful (1), careful* (1), consider (1), facing (1), guard (1), keep on seeing (2), look (7), looking (5), looks (1), partial* (2), saw (12), see (54), seeing (8), seen (8), sees (8), sight (2), take care (5), take heed (5), watch (1).
In context of the verses 5:28-29 the Greek verb "βλεπων" (blepo) should be translated "keep on seeing" or "keep on looking" rather than "looks at"
Jesus is not just simply talking at having a passing immoral look, but is referring to one who "keeps on seeing" and so by the dwelling on such immoral thoughts arouses passionate and sexual desires.
This is so because Jesus continues and stresses the need , that drastic action must be taken, even if it is hard as taking your eye out.It is better to exercise self control rather than suffer everlasting death. Jesus said: 29" If your right eye makes you [b]stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into [e]hell." If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! It is better to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into hell.( e-gehenna)
Paul wrote that temptation is common to all men 1 Corinthians 10:13, however the outcome is determined by what one does , either quickly disregard the evil thought or dwell on it and allow it to grow, to the reach the point that acting on it becomes inevitable .Like Jesus, James also warned his fellow Christians that if they allow illicit desires -lust ,passion to "become fertile", it gives birth to sin.
James 1:14-15 (NASB)
14 "But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his
own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and
when sin [a]is accomplished, it brings forth death."
Cain allowed his fleshy desires to dominate him.
Cain fumed with anger against his brother, God however did not count it as sin against him, but warned him : "It desires to dominate you, but you must subdue it." Sin was knocking at the door,but he ignored the instructions, he did not resist, his desire to kill his brother Abel overcame him and when alone killed him.
4 "But Abel brought some of the firstborn of his flock—even the
fattest of them. And the Lord was pleased with Abel and his offering,
5 but with Cain and his offering he was not pleased.[d] So Cain became
very angry, and his expression was downcast. 6 Then the Lord said to
Cain, “Why are you angry, and why is your expression downcast? "
7 "Is it not true[g] that if you do what is right, you will be fine?
But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching[i] at the door.
It desires to dominate you, but you must subdue it.” 8 Cain said to
his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”[k] While they were in
the field, Cain attacked[l] his brother[m] Abel and killed him."