Jesus said that his way to live is a very narrow way (Mt 7:13,14). In the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5-7), Jesus gives some practical examples, and we now look at the second of them: lust (5:27-30).

Jesus narrows down our options here. We have to be better than the Pharisees (5:20). They were the ones who set what was culturally acceptable in their day. Yet Jesus says their relatively rigorous standards were too low, so he certainly expects us to exceed the kinds of behaviour that are assumed to be OK today. They thought they were saints because they avoided pre-marital and extra-marital sexual relationships, which today would be regarded as an utterly unrealistic narrow way; it is even suggested that such a life style can do serious damage to your health – at least your emotional and physical health. But Jesus said that even the Pharisees’ view of life was way too broad. He knew that there are deadly implications to lust and pornography even if you are never unfaithful to your spouse.

It’s time for the church to be narrow-minded about sexuality. Thinking within the narrow parameters within which Jesus thought about sexuality. The world may largely still applaud the value of monogamy, but we need a narrower definition of monogamy. The Jesus way of living. Monogamy no longer defined as one sexual partner at a time, but monogamy defined as one sexual partner. Period.

Thinking like Jesus – the Word of God who fleshed out the Covenant Faithfulness that is part of who God is. The Son of God who kept himself pure for the Bride whom the Father had promised him in a past eternity. ‘Marriages are made in heaven,’ we say. And so they are. God planned aeons ago who was to be your spouse – and your calling in Christ is to be faithful.

That certainly means faithful when you are married. It also means being faithful before you are married. Young men: neither sleeping with another man’s wife (before she is able to marry the one that God has purposed for her), nor sleeping with another woman (before you marry the one that God, in his eternal plan, has already given you; and you won’t definitively know who that is until she says “I do” on your wedding day!) And faithful after marriage – “until death us do part”. Just like Jesus. Eternally covenantally faithful.

This is the Jesus way of sexuality. And we live this way not by trying hard to keep the law. We live this way because Jesus already lived this way in the flesh, and he continues to live this way – and now he lives this way in us by his Spirit. It’s the only way to live; every other way is a slow form of death.