“If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you … And if your right-hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you … (Matthew 5:29-30, NKJV)
There are times in each of our lives when we come across something in our reading … see something we weren’t expecting while out walking or driving.
Sometimes … words can come out of children’s mouths … and as adults, we look at each other in total shock and almost simultaneously we exclaim, “where did you hear that?”
It should not be a surprise to those of us who spend any amount of time reading and reflecting on God’s Word … that we come upon a statement made by the Lord Himself that is shocking, perhaps totally unexpected!
When reading from one of the greatest sections of Scripture recorded in Matthew 5-7, we find ourselves face to face with a very perplexing statement.
Jesus talking about “… plucking out an eye” or “… cutting off a body part”!
It will be of benefit to each of us to know more fully what Jesus was actually teaching in this passage of Scripture.
He goes on to explain, “… for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”
The words translated in our text, “for it is more profitable for you” carry the meaning that even though what He is saying may not seem appropriate at that moment … when applied will prove to be the best for our ultimate good!
We understand that Jesus is not advocating any sort of self-mutilation! He is teaching that we must cut ourselves loose and get away from anything … anyone … any desire … habit that we are overly fond of or that is just plain wrong … if we hope to spend eternity in Heaven!
His great love and sacrifice for us leave no doubt that our ultimate good … living with Him for eternity, free from any harm or sorrow … is His great desire for each of us!
We must be willing to ask ourselves regularly about every aspect of our lives … “Am I allowing something of this world to become more important to me than serving and pleasing the Lord?”
Our adversary … and he is our adversary in every way … is the great deceiver! He wants us to believe we have a right to anything we want at the moment. He is very busy in his efforts to deceive mankind … especially those counted among God’s people (2 Corinthians 11:3)!
Our Creator knows that in that great day of our judgment, we will consider nothing more important than our obedience to Him!
Which would be profitable to hear the Lord say … “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Enter into the joys of thy Lord” or “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
The seat of any sin is not any one member of the body but is as Jesus has already affirmed … it is in our hearts!
As has always been the case in God’s dealings with mankind … with every blessing there comes a corresponding responsibility! There is no exception to this principle!
What the Lord genuinely wants from each of us is expressed in the words of Romans 12:1-2, “… a living sacrifice …”
It must be stated that any desire that God has blessed us with … has boundaries! And any desire that becomes our chief goal, purpose, or way of living … will soon lead us to discover that we have placed ourselves under an exacting, burdensome, and demanding taskmaster!
“… For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” (2 Peter 2:19b)
Bill Fairchild, Jr.