To even say the word sin, raises hairs on the back of our necks. In our modern day culture we don’t speak of sin very often, at least publicly. However, spoken or not spoken it still exists, every communion service, and every Resurrection (Easter) Sunday, shouts sin aloud, its historicity but much more how contemporary it is. Sin still exists, and it’s still serious business, but how serious is it? God has always hated sin, Jesus died on the cross because of Sin, but Jesus said something that tells how serious He is with us sinning!
If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. “If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.
Maim myself? Does Jesus really want us to lop off limbs? There appears to be nothing in the text that says He’s Joking, nothing that says this is a parable, it seems He’s shooting us straight here. “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you…”. However, for our best the answer is an emphatic NO!, Jesus DOES not want us to maim ourselves, He provides a surer way to deal with sin in us than by cutting off body parts. Remember Jesus also said sin and all its actions comes from the heart (Mat 15:18-20). When we look at the above text Jesus didn’t say cut out our hearts, the root of sin. Just like with other statements, Jesus is making a point.
What’s the Point?
The seriousness of sin is the point! Jesus spoke like this to get everyone’s attention! The passage urges a person to not ignore sin in their lives. Jesus says that sin can keep you from life, eternity with God, and will lead you to death eternal separation from Him. But notice the words, look at them, see what He recommends, no He doesn’t want us to cut off hands and tear out eyes, but He doesn’t want us to walk away thinking we can remain in sin. Like the Apostle Paul said, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?” (Rom 6:1) Sin is so serious it caused Jesus excruciating pain and death, and if we don’t repent it could cause us the same, excruciating pain and finally death.
His Utmost Desire
Jesus’ utmost desire is for us to be with Him in eternity, but after coming to faith in Jesus our utmost desire must be Him. Sin is ultimately a desire for something contrary to Jesus, and and His will. We must choose Him and His will! Sin in us, in action or thought should grieve us, sin should send us to our knees in repentance and prayer. Sin in the world and church should have us crying out to God for mercy and revival. We should never be content with the “status quo” of easy Christianity that trivializes sin, or a world that says, “it doesn’t exist”. Let our hearts be rent before the Lord and let us all flee all forms of sin!