“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” (Matthew 5:29).
Christ here uses a figure of speech. He does not ask His followers to dismember their bodies but rather to control it by His grace. By the plucking out the eye or cutting off the hand Christ, figuratively speaks of the decisive drastic work that the believer should do to guard himself from evil. People that immediately seize control of their evil and avoid the development of a habitual patterns are the most successful in resisting evil.
Christ shows that the motive in the heart or mind is what causes the actions in the life. It is through the senses that sin finds a way to the mind. He who controls what he sees, hears, smells, tastes, or touches has done well in avoiding sinful thoughts. And it is the eye especially that serves as the window of the mind. When a person refuses to see wickedness he is making himself blind to it.
The Bible teaches us that Job “made a covenant with … [his] eyes” (Job 31:1). Job had already purposed to not let his eyes dwell on evil even before an opportunity presented itself. Job understood that mere avoidance of the act of adultery was not sufficient. In order to meet God’s standard, the thinking as well as the actions must be pure.
The apostle Paul also in the NT, teaches us the necessity of disciplining the body “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:27). Paul talks about the importance of gaining absolute victory over all the unholy passions and desires. He knew that it must be a fight to win, no matter what the cost in suffering would be over the earthly nature.
The good news is that victory is possible through Christ “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). Christ is the source of all strength. When the divine commands are faithfully followed, the Lord makes Himself responsible for the success of the work done by the believer. In Christ there is strength to fulfill every duty, power to resist every temptation, and victory over every weakness.
Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.
In His service,
A closing message from BibleAsk:
Thank you for visiting BibleAsk – an online ministry dedicated to providing Bible based answers to your questions. If you enjoyed and agree with this answer, please like and share! If you don’t agree, please leave a comment below, and we’ll be sure to respond! If you have another question you would like to ask, please click here and someone from our team will personally answer it (don’t worry, your email address will never be shared). Check out our Bible Answers page to see just Bible verses answering thousands of questions. If you feel impressed to support this ministry, kindly visit our donate page to send a tax-deductible love gift to BibleAsk. Any donation size helps .