"with lust in his heart"


#1

This has been discussed recently. I thought it deserves its own thread.

What did Jesus mean when he said not to lust? When does looking at someone you find attractive constitute lust?

Years ago I would look away any time I saw a woman I found attractive. It was an unbearable way to live.


#2

Whoever looks at a woman and finds her attractive?
Whoever looks at a woman and finds her desirable?
Whoever looks at a woman and thinks she’s “built” great?
Whoever looks at a nude woman on the internet and thinks wow, what a body?

I don’t think any of those statements necessarily (in the logical sense) describe lust. I think the boundary limit is covetousness - we can do all of the above, but not covet. IN fact, we do just that all the time.

If our desire is such that yeah, we would definitely “hit that” if the occasion arose, even though we are married, or would be committing fornication - we’ve crossed a line in our minds and hearts, and we are coveting, therefore lusting.

But to feel a sexual attraction is not necessarily sinful.


#3

Well,guess what :question: I put in the words “What did Jesus mean when he said not to lust?” and I got 2 Calvinist answers - on page 1 of Google. It just goes to show you, that the Got Questions site, has a lot of “Google juice”. Here are the links: :wink:

What is lust? What does the Bible have to say about lust?
What does the Bible say about overcoming lust?

Sometimes, it’s just your lucky day. :exclamation: :laughing:


#4

What did Jesus mean when he said not to lust?

I think it means something like “lusting” rather then just an brief emotion but rather a choice to dwell on the subject.


#5

daveB said:

Why can not we understand this???


#6

Here is part of a commentary.

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers (Matthew 5:28)
(biblehub.com/commentaries/matthew 5:28)

To lust after her. - The intent is more strongly marked in the Greek than in
the English. It is not the passing glance, not even the momentary impulse of
desire, but the continued gaze by which the impulse is deliberately cherished
till it becomes a passion. This noble and beautiful teaching, it has often been
remarked, and by way of disparagement, is found elsewhwere. Such disparagement
is out of place. By the mercy of God that “lighteth every man” has led men to
recognize the truth thus asserted, and parallels to it may be found in the
writings of Confucius, Seneca, Epictetus and even of the Jewish Rabbis
themselves. The words of Juvenal closely express the general sentiment:-

“Scelus intra se tacitus qui cogitat ullum, Facti crimen habet.”
“Who in his breast a guilty thought doth cherish,
He bears the guilt of action.”]

Our Lord’s words speak primarily of “adultery”, but are, of course, applicable
to every form of sensual impurity.


#7

So Nicholas, please specify what this “continued gaze” is. Is it looking for more than 2 seconds? 3 second? Thinking explicitly sexual fantasies?


#8

So Nicholas, please specify what this “continued gaze” is. Is it looking for more than 2 seconds? 3 second? Thinking explicitly sexual fantasies?
qaz

Posts: 1126
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:51 am

Like the description of Eve gazing at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, long enough to start fantasizing.


#9

What man has not desired his wife before asking her to marry him? The fact that such a scenario seems borderline absurd leads me to think looking with the intent of lusting occurs only when the looker plans on fantasizing about intercourse with the person -or- planning to have intercourse outside of marriage with her.


#10

Ellicot wrote: “It is not the passing glance, not even the momentary impulse of
desire, but the continued gaze by which the impulse is deliberately cherished
till it becomes a passion.”

I honestly find that helpful. I can enjoy thinking she is beautiful, but know when I’m staring at part of her body.
I’ve done the thing of condemning every glance that contains desire as lust. I do enjoy desire and have a fair idea
when it turns to lust.

We don’t commit adultery by accident. Maybe not adultery in the heart either. Intent is needed. Think over what
Ellicot wrote. Then try it out and find out that desire is beauitiful, being something God made. In trying it out I
do risk a quite forgivable lust.

Ellicot’s commentary has helped me a lot, speaking as a very lustful man.


#11

Thank you for sharing, Nicholas. What confuses me is that I’ve read a literal translation is “with the intent of desiring.” But what married man has proposed to his wife without first desiring her? Isn’t the whole reason a man asks a woman to marry him because he desired her?


#12

I’ve looked at women with the intention of stirring up lust increasingly. That was “with the intent of desiring.”
But “with the intent of desiring” could apply within a marriage. The first is sin, the second is good.

Matthew 5:28 doesn’t lay down any rule about what is desire and what is lust, so I won’t. But pray, and remember
that women are part of God’s creation, and appreciating their beauty is normal. That beauty is something I
enjoy, without wanting to have (at present, most of the time). Like the difference between “those are beautiful
flowers,” and “I must have some of those for myself.” Take a risk! God won’t clobber you if you get it wrong.

I know about zero Greek and I don’t want to comment on “with the intent of desiring.” I also know little about
your circumstances. I’m 63 and single.

God bless you. This isn’t easy to get right. GRACE is essential! It’s bad enough without mistranslations.


#13

Is it okay if I look at a woman’s body if I know I’m not going to sexually fantasize about her nor pursue fornication?


#14

I would translate the sentence as follows:

In this case, I think the man’s “desire” is not mere sexual desire in itself, but having the intent of desiring her as his mistress. That’s why it is adultery in his heart—since she is already another man’s wife.