Later on in the Bible, Matthew seems to present Jesus as a foolish man and a false prophet, and seems to be trying to warn us about him (Foolish Jesus And The Ravening Wolves). He even goes on to refute the notion that the Gospels were written by eye-witnesses (Hey Christians! Is Matthew For Real?) but here he is making him look like a fool who knows nothing of human psychology, or even as someone cynically trying to trap people.
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
I wonder if it's okay for a woman to look on a man to lust after him. Maybe it hadn't occurred to the man who wrote that stuff that women have those sorts of thoughts too... But that's by the by.
|Don't think about the elephants!|
How long did you last? Did you remember right at the start what you were supposed not to be thinking about?
So you lost right then.
You see, there is no way you can remember not to think about elephants without thinking about elephants, just as there is no way to remember not to lust after someone without thinking about lusting after them. Go on! Try it!
No sane, intelligent, compassionate, loving god would impose a ludicrously impossibly puritanical rule like that on humans and then condemn them if they broke it.
Mind you, a malignant god would. So would a writer who is trying to make this god out to be malignant.
And so, which is far more likely, would a writer who wants to make you feel trapped and riddled with guilt for merely being human and doing what humans can't avoid doing. He might just as well have condemned you for just being born.
Oh! He did that too, of course.
Other sections of Matthew that Christians might like to try not to think about are:
Matthew 1:23 where Matthew gives the game away about the 'Jesus' prophesy being made up.
Matthew 27: 51-53 Where Matthew makes the entire crucifixion story look like a bad scifi story.
Matthew 2 where Matthew makes the birth of Jesus look like another silly attempt to create myth on the hoof.