And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell (Matt 5:29-30)~~ Thinking about all the sinful things that my eyes have looked upon in my past, and if I were to “pluck them out”…. thinking about all the sinful things that I have used my hands for in my past, and if I were to “cut them off”…. thinking about all the ways (through thought or action) that the various parts of my physical body have been used in sin in my past; My brain – sinful thoughts; My feet – brought me to sinful places; My hands – touching, holding, creating sinful things; My tongue – speaking wickedness and sinful language; this list just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and in imagining myself removing all of these parts of my body from me, there wouldn’t be much left! And beyond the physical implications reality of this is actually a bit deeper! When Jesus spoke these things, do you really think He meant that while deserving, we should be amputating all of the parts of the body that we sin with? Or was this all a revelation of just how much we NEEDED the sacrifice He would make with His own sinless body to bear the stripes, the punishment and the physical and spiritual destruction we so deserved? This was a call for us to look at those things in our lives that we carry with us because of what we do with our various members, and repent – turn aside from those habits, those actions, those ways and those people – that keep us in a sinful and awful state and force our lives in the wrong direction. Jesus has given us by His finished sacrifice, the go-ahead to “Pluck” these things out of our lives, “cut them off” from being a part of us anymore. What transgressions we already have are covered in Him and He has given us authority to separate ourselves from these things and be free from their impact; but also we must exercise the self-control that we are given as a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:23) and repent of them as part of our growth and relationship in Him. This is not always going to be an easy thing. In fact, because we’ve come to enjoy those things and people, cutting them off – repenting – turning away and moving on from them – will often be uncomfortable and sometimes painful. It’s better to go through the pain of cutting them off than the eternal fall we face for the convenience of holding on to them. But again all the while, it will be a tough battle. Thankfully God is always there for us to give us the way and the means and the strength because by our own will we cannot so commit. To literally and physically cut off the right hand simply leaves the left to equally compensate and to pluck out one eye leaves the other to do the same…twofold.
Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin, which doth so easily beset us… (Heb 12:1).