Painting of the Mediterranean Sea courtyard is coming along. Here you can see the boot of Italy along with Sicily and Malta.

Thoughts from Dr. Fleming

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a women with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)

The high moral demand of righteousness found in the teachings of Jesus is associated with his love and forgiveness. How do we read this verse in Matthew with love and forgiveness?

Jesus makes the law more stringent than the Hebrew Bible. Exodus 20:14 says “You shall not commit adultery.” This is the seventh commandment of the ten commandments. Jesus goes to the inward thought behind the action, and by Jesus’ standard a man has committed adultery in his heart if he looks at a woman with lust. The Hebrew Bible speaks only about the action. The penalty for adultery was death by stoning.

Pope John Paul II in 1981 shocked many Christians by understanding this saying of Jesus about adultery and he said, “It is possible to commit adultery with one’s wife.” This sure got people’s attention! What he meant was that if you use a person as a sexual object, selfishly, without showing consideration for them, it is possible to commit adultery with one’s wife.

What Jesus is trying to get at in the saying is what is in your heart. The question that should occur from this is “Who can be saved?” Then one should derive from this that a more important aspect and attribute of God that righteousness is mercy. From a human standpoint God is characterized as full of mercy.

This lesson was taken from the book “The Difficult Sayings of Jesus” by Dr. James Fleming. This book, and others by Dr. Fleming can be purchased online at or by calling 706-298-7393.