Gibbs, Jeffrey A. “Matthew 5:27-30: On Adultery.” St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2006, pp. 286-289.
Looking at a woman with desire is a serious issue, one which can condemn a man, according to Matthew 5:27-30. Gibbs questions the interpretation of “so as to desire her.” The construction could indicate purpose, meaning that the guilt is only based on a prior intent. It could also indicate result, meaning that the man who looks at a woman and then finds himself desiring her is engaged in sin. Gibbs takes this to be the more reasoned understanding. We can be guilty even without premeditation (Gibbs 2006, 286).
The consequences of inner or outer adultery are severe - condemnation. For this reason, the treatment to stop such condemnation may be very severe. Gibbs summs it up by asking, “Which is better for you? To be resurrected and then cast with your body intact into hell’s eternal torment, or the resurrection to eternal life without an eye or a hand?” (Gibbs 2006, 288). Gibbs does acknowledge the serious different consequences of physical adultery, particularly in terms of broken earthly relationships which have severe side effects. Regardless, the life of purity is very important, in earthly and heavenly terms.