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 lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
A few years ago I picked up a copy of Leo Tolstoy’s little novel, The Kreutzer Sonata. It is a troubling story about a man named Pozdnyshev and his fall into moral degeneracy. It culminates, ultimately, in him murdering his wife after he discovers her in a relationship with another man. But the book is primarily concerned with sexual temptation and the morally crippling sin of lust. In the story, Pozdnyshev tells how he fell into a life of lust and, finally, into a life of libertinism and sexual anarchy.
Two years before I had been corrupted by coarse boys. Already woman, not any particular woman, but woman as a sweet something, woman, any woman…already begun to torment me. My solitudes were unchaste. I was tormented as ninety-nine per cent of our boys are tormented. I was afraid, I struggled, I prayed, and – I fell! My imagination was already corrupt. I myself was corrupt but the final step had not yet been taken. I was ruined by myself even before I had put my hands on another human being.
Following this, Pozdnyshev recounts the aftermath of his first actual foray into sexual sin.
I did not even realize that this was a fall. I simply began to give myself up to those pleasures, to those necessities, which, as it was suggested to me, were natural – gave myself up to this dissipation in the same way that I had begun to drink and smoke. And yet there was something unusual and pathetic in this first fall. I remember well how immediately – even before I left that room – a feeling of sadness, deep sadness, came over me, so that I felt like weeping, weeping for the loss of my innocence, for a forever sullied relationship to womanhood. Yes, the natural, simple relationship I had enjoyed with women was now forever impossible. Purity of relationship with any woman was at an end; it could never be again. I had become what is called a libertine. And to be a libertine is to be in a physical condition like that of a drug addict, a drunkard, or a smoker. As any one of these is no longer a normal man, so a man who uses women for his own pleasure is no longer normal; he is a man forever spoiled – a libertine. As the drunkard or the addict can be instantly recognized by his face, by his actions, so it is with the rake. He may restrain himself, may struggle with his inclinations, but his simple, pure, sincere, and fraternal relations with woman are no longer possible. By the very way in which he looks at a young woman, or stares at her, the libertine is recognized. So I became a libertine, and I remained one, and that was my ruin.
Two things strike me about Pozdyneshev’s story. The first is his comment, “I was ruined by myself even before I had put my hands on another human being.” And the second is his comment, “By the very way in which he looks at a young woman, or stares at her, the libertine is recognized.”
This is fascinating because it stands in perfect harmony with what Jesus says in our text this morning. It is indeed possible to ruin ourselves inwardly without ever having touched another human being. And there is a way we can look at people that reveals the true state of our own hearts and souls. This is indeed fascinating and this is also troubling, because very few cultures in the history of the world have provided such sensually depraved and easily accessible images to look at as our own. One need only leave the house, or cut on the computer, or watch television, or watch television commercials, or even listen to the radio to be confronted with these images.
We are in a strange and dangerous time as a nation. Our nation seems to have forgotten the great danger of sexual license to the human soul, and seems, instead, to have plunged into a sea of moral debauchery to a startling extent. I was intrigued to read, some years back, that Tom Wolfe, the author of Bonfire of the Vanities, was complaining about the sexual chaos of modern, American culture. What intrigued me was that Wolfe is himself, using his terminology, “not religious.” But still, he sees the problem. He said:
Yes, there is this Puritanism, and I suppose we are talking here about what you might call the religious right. But I don’t think these people are left or right, they are just religious, and if you are religious, you observe certain strictures on sexual activity – you are against the mainstream, morally speaking. And I do have sympathy with them, yes, though I am not religious. I am simply in awe of it all; the openness of sex. In the 60s they talked about a sexual revolution, but it has become a sexual carnival.
That’s a good way to put it: the sexual revolution has become a sexual carnival. We might even say that it has become sexual chaos. In an essay from a few years ago, the Italian novelist Umberto Eco, himself not a Christian either, also complained about the general coarsening of society. Like Wolfe, Eco referred to the modern “Carnivalization of life.” He suggested that things had become so deranged in the world that soon, in order to be provocative and degraded, a man will likely be sidling up next to a woman and saying in a low, suggestive voice, “Hey, honey, doing anything after the orgy?”
I. The Greatest Tragedy of Sexual Sin is its Distortion of a Great Gift
Our treatment of sexual sin does not begin with ugliness but with beauty. It begins with the beauty of the gift of human sexuality, a gift given to us all by God, a gift with enormous power for good, a good that draws us into the very process of creation itself. It is a powerful gift involving powerful realities: the making of two people into one flesh, the creation of a physical and emotional and spiritual bond that goes beyond even the deep bond of friendship, human pleasure and joy, and the human dynamics of trust, devotion, communication, and care.
Sexual desire is such a powerful and profound reality, that neurophysiologists tell us it is “best understood as an emergent property of at least four interlocking physiological systems, at least eleven different regions of the brain, more than thirty distinct biochemical mechanisms, and literally hundreds of specific genes supporting these various processes.” That is to say, sexuality involves the whole person, though it ought not define the whole person. It is a whole-body act, which means that it is a whole-body gift from God. It also means that to use it sinfully makes it a whole-body sin. Thus, Paul says this in 1 Corinthians 6:
18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Sexual sin is a sin against the whole body, but the other side of that is the glorious truth that sexual obedience is a blessing for the whole body. Again, sex itself is a great good.
It is therefore a tragedy that many Christians throughout Christian history have not stressed the beauty and goodness of sex and its rightful and appropriate place in the marriage relationship. Let us be clear: the Lord God calls creation good and all the good gifts He has given us in creation. To say that sex is inherently ignoble or inherently bad is to blaspheme against God, for it is God who gives us this gift. To suggest that sex itself is somehow regrettable is itself regrettable.
It is a good gift from a good God given to His people for their joy. This is what makes sexual sin so dastardly and so tragic: it distorts and misuses this good gift, and, instead of joy, brings enslavement and pain.
Imagine if you gave your son the gift of a treasured and beloved portrait of his great-great-Grandfather and your son decided to beat the dog to death with it. Imagine if you gave your daughter a generations-old letter opener that had been passed down in your family since the time of the Revolutionary War and she used it to stab her brother. Imagine if you took your children on their dream vacation and it’s on that trip that they tell you they hate you and are running away from home.
All of those are bad actions, but they’re made triply bad by the fact that they are distorting a good gift given. To seek to seize hold of human sexuality in order to wield it for our own personal and selfish ends is to take a gift that has been given for our good and our joy and turn it against our Maker.
What is even more astounding is how we are tempted to use human sexuality as a replacement for God Himself. In this sense, sex becomes our search for transcendence, our search for something more, and we end up worshiping it instead of God. To view it in this way is to exalt the gift above the Giver. In fact, it is to use a gift to blot out the sight of the One who has given it. In Romans 1, Paul speaks of the connection between sexual sin and idolatry:
21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
To worship and idolize creation, be it a sunrise, the ocean, or sex itself, is to distort and pervert that which we are idolizing. Sex is not bigger than God, and, when sex becomes a god, it really only becomes a demon…and demons never satisfy. Our culture bears all the marks of a society that is idolizing sex and destroying it and ourselves in the process. Your heart was made for God, and nothing, including the good gifts He has given, can take His place. Calvin Miller wrote this in The Divine Symphony:
Does not exhilarate.
It but indicts:
The sweetness of all adultery
Leaves just before the splendor,
Destroying the ecstasy
We thought might linger
To eliminate the shame.
Sex outside of the worship of God is an idol that will not satisfy. That is why a culture will either bring sex under the dominion of the God who gave it, or it will continuously idolize sex in an effort to make it more godlike. But this leads to more and more perversion. The philosopher Simon Blackburn put it like this: “Living with lust is like living shackled to a lunatic.” He is right. Lust is tempting us to attempt something insane: to satisfy the human heart outside of God. Failing to do so, lust turns us inward on the insanity of ourselves.
Let us also approach this as Christians. As Christians we realize that the temptation to idolize sex is part of the Fall of man. There is something within us, a sin nature, that seeks to distort God’s good gifts for our own means and ends. We do not naturally think rightly about these issues. Naturally, we are selfish about them and clouded in our thinking. I repeat: something is wrong with what we would call “the sex drive.” It has been warped, misshapen by the sin nature we inherit and the sin nature we willingly perpetrate.
One can hear the frustration over this truth in Frederick Beuchner’s powerful words:
Lust is the ape that gibbers in our loins. Tame him as we will by day, he rages all the wilder in our dreams by night. Just when we think we’re safe from him, he raises up his ugly head and smirks, and there’s no river in the world flows cold and strong enough to strike him down. Almighty God, why dost thou deck men out with such a loathsome toy?
We are all sinners. We are all sexually fallen. And we all must seek to bring our crooked hearts back under the Lordship of Jesus Christ so that He might lead us into thinking rightly about the goodness and proper uses of this great gift.
Restored to its proper place, sex becomes again an occasion for seeing and understanding the goodness of God. It becomes an occasion for worship and for joy and for peace. It was not given to us to lead us into repeated cycles of addiction and darkness and guilt and shame. It was given to us to bind us together under the blessed hand of God and, in so doing, to bring us together into a greater understanding of His love for us.
This is the greatest tragedy of sexual sin: its misuse of something good.
II. Sexual Sin is Committed In the Heart Before It is Committed by the Body (v.27-28)
Jesus speaks of this tragedy in ways that reveal the true depths of the problem.
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 lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Just as he did with anger, Jesus shows that the real problem with sexual sin is a heart problem before it is a body problem. I repeat: sexual sin begins in the heart and not in the actions of the body.
Many of the Jews had come to take a kind of pride in the fact that they had not literally violated the commandment, that they had not literally, physically committed adultery with their bodies. But Jesus sees the deeper issue. Jesus knows that though sin may reveal itself in our bodies it is born in our hearts. Adultery really does begin in the heart, as do all sins. R. Kent Hughes wisely said, “No sensual sin was ever committed that was not first imagined.”
Jesus says it is adultery to “look at a woman with lustful intent.” Charles Quarles points out that the word “look” is a Greek present participle and could be translated, “everyone who keeps on looking.” He defines it as “a sensual stare, a lustful gawking.” This is not a glance. This is not even a recognition of beauty. This is the second glance leading to a long look, a look fueled by thoughts of more than beauty. This is adultery of the eyes, and it is a common problem indeed.
I have a friend who once discovered that a friend of his was having an affair. I asked him when he realized this was the case. He said it was when he saw his friend talking to another woman to whom he seemed unusually close. He said that although their words were measured and careful, there was something in the way he looked at her. It was in his eyes. And, it turns out, his hunch was right.
Our eyes are steered by our hearts. We first consume with our eyes that which our hearts most desire. In Proverbs 6:25, Solomon writes, “Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.” The fixation of the eyes has the ability to capture the heart, just as the fixation of the heart has the ability to steer the eyes.
In William Golding’s novel, The Spire, Dean Jocelyn is fixated on a woman who is not his wife. He is obsessed with her and cannot help but stare at her. It is the sight of her hair that most grips his heart and leads him to lust after her. He is captivated by this woman.
This is lust: the over-long look that moves from recognition to imagination, from acknowledgment to desire, or, as somebody once put it, “from ‘Wow!’ to “How?’” This lustful look must be guarded against and it is difficult to disguise.
I was trying this week to think of an example of a lustful look, and my mind went to little Ralphie in “A Christmas Story.” Do you remember when his father wins the grand prize? The prize is a lamp in the shape of a woman’s leg. Ralphie’s mother is mortified as her husband puts it on the table in front of the picture window for all to see. But Ralphie is not mortified. He is transfixed, and I daresay that if you have seen that movie you will remember the look on Ralphie’s face as he reaches up to touch the lamp.
It need not even be a long look to be lustful. I am thinking here of the end of the novel, Elmer Gantry, when the disgraced and recently-restored womanizing preacher, Elmer Gantry, ironically calls on the congregation to join him in praying for moral renewal in America. As Gantry kneels to pray in front of the congregation, he turns his head and notices the ankles of a beautiful young woman. In writing that little scene, Sinclair Lewis was giving us a glimpse into Elmer Gantry’s heart through Elmer Gantry’s eyes…and his heart was still corrupt.
I am thinking of Leopold Bloom and Gertie McDowell in James Joyce’s Ulysses, who commit sexual sin with each other from a distance with their eyes. I’m thinking of the very essence of pornography, which bids us to sexual sin through grabbing the attention of our eyes. And I’m thinking of all the ways, both subtle and explicit, that human beings look at each other suggestively and inappropriately.
Our eyes can lead us into captivity. “The righteousness of the upright delivers them,” Proverbs 11:6 tells us, ”but the treacherous are taken captive by their lust.” Our culture is one in which the prisons of lust and devastation of this imprisonment are evident all around us.
III. Sexual Sin is so Dangerous that Radical Steps to Handle It Are Appropriate (v.29-30)
What, then, are we to do? How are we to combat this prison of lust? To be sure, Christians have often gone to odd extremes in trying to combat it.
For instance, in Jesus’ day there was a group known as “the bleeding Pharisees.” These men were so concerned about adultery that they covered their eyes when they went out in public so that they would not be tempted to lust by the sight of a woman. The 2nd/3rd century church father, Origen of Alexandria, Egypt, sought to combat lust by rolling naked over sharp briars. Following that, he castrated himself. That may sound extreme (and, of course, it is!), but the practice of self-castration became so widely adopted among Christian men that the Canons of the 4th century Council of Nicea had to address the issue and demand that men stop doing this. Saint Aloysius used to scourge himself until the blood flowed from his body. Then he would put pieces of wood beneath his blanket to cause him pain during the night. He also put riding spurs beneath his clothes so they would cut into and harrass him as he moved about during the day. Bonaventure tells us that Francis of Assisi, when he battled with lust, would throw himself into a ditch of icy water so as to “preserve the white robe of purity from the flames of sensual pleasure.” It is said that St. Jerome would resort to translating Hebrew whenever he battled with lust. 
Well, those are more or less extreme examples, but does God’s Word give us any help in this area of combating lust and sexual sin? Thankfully, it does. Let me offer some suggests here.
(1) Let your eyes be fixed on a greater beauty: that of Jesus Christ.
The key to overcome lesser desires is to let them be dominated by a greater desire. Lust, pornography, sexual sins, and all that go with them are fools’ gold desires. They are distortions of the greatest good and they enslave us to petty taskmasters who, in turn, torture us unrelentingly. Lust does not satisfy, but it tempts through desire.
If you are a Christian, however, there is one desire that eclipses them all because it is concentrated on one beauty that is greater than all. I am talking here about the beauty of Jesus Christ. Our hearts should be so filled with awe and admiration of the glory of God in Jesus that they do not have room for distorted images of lesser desires.
Consider the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7. Consider the image that grabbed his attention as the Jews were literally stoning him to death.
54 Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. 55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. 58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
It is a stunning martyrdom account! Stephen is so filled with awe at the resplendent beauty and glory of Jesus Christ, that he does not notice what is happening to his body. In the same way, when our body is getting attacked and assaulted with lustful images and desires, let us turn our whole attention, immediately and completely, to the greater beauty of Jesus Christ.
St. Jerome struggled mightily with lust. Even when he had isolated himself from other human beings, his mind and heart lusted after women. This is what he said:
There was I, therefore, who from fear of hell had condemned myself to such a prison, with only scorpions and wild beasts as companions. Yet I was often surrounded by dancing girls. My face was pale from fasting, and my mind was hot with desire in a body as cold as ice. Though my flesh, before its tenant, was already as good as dead, the fires of the passions kept boiling within me.
And so, destitute of all help, I used to lie at Jesus’ feet. I bathed with my tears, I wiped them with my hair. When my flesh rebelled, I subdued it by weeks of fasting.
Yes. Come to the feet of Jesus and lie there when you are tempted to flee to the false god of lust. My our hearts be so filled with His face that there is no room for any idol.
(2) Make the decision not to lust.
This may sound simple, but it is an honest question: do you want not to lust? Do you want to be free? Many people say they do but they really don’t. For people caught up in deep patterns of lust, the thought of life without pornography or without adultery or without the momentary thrill of sexual sin is actually a scary thought.
I am thinking here of St. Augustine, who famously described in his Confessions that, as a young man, he half-heartedly prayed for chastity in this way: “Give me chastity…but not yet.” Against Augustine’s youthful foolishness, consider the resolve and determination of Job in Job 31:1. “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.” (NIV)
Have you made the decision to honor God with your heart, mind, and eyes?
Our third suggestion may sound absurd, but I mean it as literally as I possibly can: run! RUN!! Consider that in 1 Corinthians 6:18, Paul tells us to “flee from sexual immorality.” In 1 Corinthians 10:14, he says, “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” He tells young Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:22, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
Genesis 39 tells of a time when the wife of an Egyptian official named Potiphar came onto Joseph:
11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
He ran out of the house! Do not be where you should not be. If you find yourself where you should not be, run quickly away.
(4) Get rid of whatever you need to get rid of in whatever way you need to get rid of it.
For our fourth piece of advice, consider the last two verses in our text this morning.
29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
As we’ve already mentioned, some people have followed this literally, though it seems clear that Jesus is speaking hyperbolically to make an important point: get rid of whatever you need to get rid of in whatever way you need to get rid of it. I would suggest that Jesus’ words are not literal because (a) a literal reading would actually work against his main point of sexual sin being born in the human heart and (b) the literal enactment of this teaching would render the whole world blind and hands-less. No, Jesus is using a fairly common rhetorical device in speaking so shockingly, but that fact does not speak against the jarring point that we should take whatever steps we need to take to rid ourselves of whatever is ensnaring us in this area.
Let me offer my own shocking thought: you do not have to have a TV. You do not have to have internet access. You do not have to go to movies with obscene content. You do not have to watch shows that you know will tempt you. You do not have to carpool with that person who tempts you. You do not have to live in that neighborhood (though you do have to live around people!). You do not have to work at that job. If you do, you may not have to be in that cubicle next to that person. You do not have to go to that gym. You do not have to run on that treadmill next to that person. You do not have to jog down that street. You do not have to have text messaging. You do not have to go to that dog park. You do not have to go to that beach. You do not have to shop at that store. You do not have to receive that magazine or that catalogue. You do not have to date her. You do not have to date him. You do not have to be friends with him. You do not have to shop at that store where you know she works. You do not have to go to that restaurant where you know she is a waitress.
Do you see? Do you see that if we were really serious about guarding our souls from lust, we would do whatever we need to do to guard our souls? Most of the time, we simply are not willing to “cut off that hand” or “gouge out that eye.” You cannot withdraw from society. Even if you did you would still have to contend with your own heart. But you can make whatever changes you need to make within society to guard your own soul.
(5) If you are married, delight yourself in your own spouse.
This is basic. This is critical. Delight yourself in your own wife or husband. Though the wording may make us blush, the wisdom that the father gives the son in Proverbs 5 is very important:
15 Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.
16 Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares?
17 Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers.
18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?
Indeed! Fall deeper and deeper into love with your own spouse. Nurture your own marriage. Be satisfied with your spouse.
(6) Confess and seek help.
It is God’s will for us that we have victory in this area. In 1 Thessalonians 4, we read this:
2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
How, then, are we to be holy in this area? Confession is certainly one of the ways that this can happen. May I remind you that God’s Word encourages us to confess our sins to one another and to talk about these things? In James 5:16, James writes, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
To whom should you confess your struggles? I would suggest that in the area of sexual sin, private confession to a trusted, mature Christian brother or sister is best. If he or she is indeed trusted and mature, he or she will not slam a door in your face, laugh at you, judge you, or reject you. Rather, he or she will pray with you, walk with you, cry with you, and help you.
May I suggest that it is precisely at this point that we as Christians often fail each other? We do not talk about these things. Somehow the subject of sexual sin is still taboo. As a result, many Christian men and women who want victory are struggling in silence and in pain. They are drowning in a sea of shame. They do not know to whom they should speak.
We must become the kind of church that helps one another in all of our broken areas, without judgment or self-righteousness. We must become the type of people who loves one another in the awkwardness of sexual sin, lifting one another up, encouraging one another, helping each other to heal and start again.
In conclusion, let me say this to you who have failed in this area, to you who are drowning in shame and fear: the Lord God loves you. He created you. He wants you to be at peace. He wants to give you that peace. Jesus forgives sexual sin. That is not an excuse to continue in sexual sin, for to do so would mean you are seeking to use Jesus for your own selfish ends. Forgiveness is not an excuse for further sin, but forgiveness is a beautiful promise for those who have sinned.
Brothers and sisters: Jesus is in the business of putting the broken pieces of our lives back together again. Jesus wants to restore you and make you whole.
Will you come to Him today? Will you give Him this area of your life? Will you give Him your whole life? He is our only hope.
 Leo Tolstoy. The Kreutzer Sonata (New York: The Modern Library, 2003), p.14,15.
 “The Liberal Elite Hasn’t Got a Clue” Monday, November 1, 2004, The Guardian https://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/story/0,13918,1340525,00.html
 Umberto Eco, Turning Back the Clock. (New York, NY: Harcourt, Inc., 2006), p.72,76.
 Simon Blackburn, Lust. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2004), Kindle Loc. 185.
 Calvin Miller, The Divine Symphony ((Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2000)), p.122.
 Blackburn, Kindle Loc. 63.
 R. Kent Hughes, The Sermon on the Mount. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2001), p.107.
 Charles Quarles, The Sermon on the Mount. NAC Studies in Bible & Theology. Ed., E. Ray Clendenen (Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2011), p.117.
 Carl G. Vaught, The Sermon on the Mount. (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2001), p.76. Charles Quarles, p.120-121. Umberto Eco. The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana (New York: Harcourt Inc., 2004, p.388. Bonaventure, The Life of St. Francis (San Fancisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 2005), p.46,48.
 Blackburn, Kindle Loc. 417.
 Ibid., Kindle Loc. 397.