Your Eye Or Hand Causes You To Stumble


Your Eye Or Hand Causes You To Stumble

‘If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.’ Matthew 5:29-30

The words of our Lord are certainly challenging in this passage, though He never intended for them to be interpreted and implemented literally.

Self-mutilation is not advocated by these verses. This truth is easily confirmed by showing that God wants us to care for our bodies to the best of our ability, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

To mutilate our body doesn’t bring glory to the Almighty. Additionally, to literally pluck out an eye, or two, will not cure our struggle with sin.

The problem ultimately resides in the heart, the mind, not in the organ of sight. We can be guilty of lust whether we have two, one, or no functional eyes!

Bruce, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Mutilation will not serve the purpose; it may prevent the outward act, but it will not extinguish desire.’

Jesus’ point is in emphasising the far greater worth of our spirit over our physical body. He exhorts us to do whatever it takes to keep from sinning. No physical sacrifice is too great! Truly, it is better to give up even the dearest and most precious things in this life, than to lose our soul in hell.

In a sense, as faithful disciples, we must blind ourselves by choosing not to look with lustful eyes, Matthew 5:28, we must put to death the lust of the flesh, Colossians 3:5 / 1 John 2:15-17.

The thought expressed by Jesus in Matthew 5:30 is similar to that of the previous verse. The only difference is that here He refers to cutting off a hand, as opposed to plucking out an eye.

Again, the problem doesn’t lie in the physical hand itself. The hand takes orders from the head. If we use our hands in sinful ways, to steal, for instance, having one less hand will not resolve the problem.

Only a fool would refuse to sacrifice a hobby, a job, a dream, a relationship, or anything else that would cause their eternal home in heaven to be lost. Don’t be a fool! Although many things on this Earth have value, none can compare to your priceless soul.