If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right had causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. Matthew 5:29-30
Do a thought experiment with me for a moment. How much would you sell your right eye for? $1000, $10,000, A million dollars? What about your right hand? If I gave you $10 million for your right hand, right now, would you take it?
Jesus teaches here is that your soul is of more value than any of your members. What do you gain if you have the whole world and lose your own soul? And on paper we all nod our head and agree. But do our actions show this belief. Sin leads to death. Do you believe this? Or do you believe you can continue in your sin, at least one more time, and it will be ok. You’ll be able to repent before you die.
If your hand causes you to sin, it is better that you cut it off right now, than continue in sin.
But what is the cause of your sin? James teaches that each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death. James 1:14-15
It is your sinful heart.
And if it would be better to lose a hand then continue to sin, then how much more would it be better to get rid of that thing in your life that you love, that tempts your heart away from Christ. What holds your heart? Is it your pride? Is it some level of control? Is it a pleasure? Your hand is a very good thing, but it would be better to be without hands and headed for glory. Your job, coffee, wine, football, a soft bed, hot showers, TV, movies, your computer, your phone, that app on your phone, going to the park, eating out, running for mayor. All good things, but if they cause you to sin, cut them off today.
But even so we can never cut deep enough, for it is our heart itself that needs to be cut out. And there is only One who can take away a heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
Zach Browning – January 21, 2024