And if thy right eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body be cast into hell. Matthew 5:29 American Standard Version
There might be some fanatics somewhere who preach something this radical. But in general the churches today water down this teaching of Christ, or we change directions completely and make it mean whatever we need it to. However our examination of the text is not a moment to point fingers or argue opinions, but rather to gleam some instructional benefit from it and hopefully some healing.
We may at least agree that they are pretty strong words. Many people have been shocked that this humble teacher from Galilee would use such harsh language. We can picture a person attempting the bloody surgical procedure and the inevitable pain if something like this were to happen. Therefore Jesus must have meant something else when He said it.
Whatever your take is, or whatever your instruction has been, there is still a beautiful lesson to be learned here. As being the only One who has come to us from the other side of the veil that separates our world and the heavenly realms, Jesus will be our authority. We need to trust Him that He knows what He is talking about. If you need more weight to back up the words of our Savior, remember that He speaks only the things that His Father wants Him to say and only does the things that please God.
So when Jesus says something anything to instruct us, we should listen. Our Savior, who can see what we stand to gain, is saying that even if something so grave as this were to happen, than it would still be beneficial to us.
Jesus makes a clear comparison between living with our sin and losing the opportunity of what we stand to gain.
Our Savior is standing there testifying to us that He can see and does know that it is far better for us to seek to be with Him. He doesn´t want us to be cast into the fire but to go through whatever we must, to seek and to find Him. I don´t think we need further proof. We can trust Him at His word.
Perhaps it is timely to remind ourselves that seeking the Lord is not just something we do. To attempt to approach the Divine in any real sense, is to start to leave behind all that we were before and to let go of our lives in this world. To have the Holy Spirit work in us to reveal the Father and the Son, is exclusive of only those who have made up their minds that what God speaks of is better that what we see. Those who press on are the ones who would give up all that we have here and all we might suffer in the process.
In relinquishing our grip on our lives here on earth, we place our hope in the testimony of One worthy of our faith. We say, ¨Thou knowest,¨ and our education begins. We look up far above anything we can see and ask the Spirit to assist us further.
With this kind of attitude, loosing an eye or a hand really doesn´t cost us too much. If it gets us closer to Him, it is all worth it. My prayer is that you and I want and need Him that bad.
All for Him,