Bear Each Other's Burdens

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A Deeper Yearning
Our understanding of sexuality reflects a deep sense in all of us that we need to be made full. Sensing that we're incomplete, unholy, lonely, and cut off from something that was once part of a whole, we feel a deep disconnection within us. And part of what Jesus is showing us in his teaching and ministry is that this disconnection isn't ultimately sexual, it's spiritual. Anytime we think sex is going to be the thing that truly fulfills us truly satisfies us, we've made the common mistake. We've mistaken the model for the real thing, because ultimately the frustration, the yearning, the incompleteness we feel isn't for a sexual partner, but is for our creator. When Jesus walked this earth, he didn't just call himself the Christ; he called himself the bridegroom. By calling himself the bridegroom, Jesus is saying, “I have come to seal the deal. I've come to put some rings on fingers. I've come to make you mine. And to bring you into that marriage relationship with me”. And so, Jesus is showing that he is the only one who can fulfill the deepest needs in our hearts. It is important for us to remember that the most fully human and complete man who ever walked this earth was Jesus Christ. He was never married. He was never romantically involved. He never had sex. And so, the moment we think any one of those things is essential to being a complete human being we're saying that Jesus was not fully human. If we have Jesus, we ultimately lack nothing, because he is the one who ultimately satisfies us.
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Jesus is Challenging
Jesus explains that adultery encompasses much more than these listeners initially thought. It's about what you look at. It's about what you do with your mind. It's about how you think about someone. Jesus says, if you look at someone lustfully, you're breaking the commandment, because what you're doing in that moment is you are treating someone else's sexuality as a commodity. You're treating it as something that exists to be consumed by you, something that is there simply to satisfy your desires and meet your appetites. And here's why this matters. Jesus isn't simply quoting the commandment from the Old Testament, and he's not saying you're breaking some arbitrary rule from thousands of years ago. Jesus is saying, “When you look at someone lustfully, you're actually contradicting how God has designed things to work.”  We tend to think that sex is primarily about self-fulfillment or self-expression. But in the Bible, sex is primarily about self-giving. It's a means of fusing two people together at the very deepest level in mutual self-giving. That is what it is meant to be doing within a marriage.  Sex was created by God to be a way of giving yourself exclusively, permanently, and fully to another person. It was designed in the Bible to involve the whole aspect of who we are, the totality of ourselves to be given to someone else. If we're giving ourselves in that way to this other person, we're not giving ourselves in that way to anybody else. The kind of bond this creates is not designed to be broken without severe pain.