Matthew 5:29-30 – If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
If your right eye causes you to stumble – Stumble here means you’ve been led off the path God has laid out for you. As such, if there is anything in your life that leads you away from God, you need to eradicate it. Whether it be relationships, businesses, habits, anything that causes you to stray from God, regardless of how important you perceive it to be to you, as long as it pulls you away from God, you need to remove it from your life.
It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown in hell – The big picture at the end of the day, is pleasing God. The big picture, is working hard on earth to serve God, so that we might be united with him at the end of days. So it’s better to make some sacrifices now, than to make the ultimate sacrifice of being separated from Him eternally when the time comes.
The verses refer to the right hand & the right eye, but I want you to think of it saying the dominant hand or the dominant eye, or the hand that is most important to you. If you’ve ever tried to paint your nails before, you know that doing the left-hand if you’re right handed, is easy because your right hand just flows. But when it’s time to do the right hand, it’s harder because your left hand is shaking and at the end of the day your right nails may look prettier than your left nails. I want you to think of that when we read these verses. If you are right-handed, let’s say that this verse assumed that everybody is right-handed. Cutting off the left hand with your right hand is an easy task. Ignore the pain. All you have to do is pick an axe and chop of the left hand. However, trying to cut off the right hand with the left-hand would be harder, because your left hand is weaker, and so it might be a messy job. So also I want you to think of the releasing of things that you think are important in your life. It will not be an easy job, it will not be a one time and it’s gone thing, you might have to try over and over again to get rid of those things in your life that are leading you astray but it is necessary and must be done.
In order to resist the lustful inclination of the eye, we need to develop a relationship with God and be focused on him. But not just that, you have to be self aware. We have to know the things that cause us to stumble. And it’s not by our knowledge or wisdom that we know these things, but it is through our relationship with God. This is why prayer and meditation are important. We need God to constantly show us those things that may cause us to stumble, things we may not normally see from our vantage point. We need to always ask him to show us the path he wants us to walk. And not just asking and walking away, but we need to sit still and listen to him. If we don’t stop to listen, we might miss the things He tries to tell us.
I have a few questions below (with some accompanying bible verses to help answering them) that could help you further your study of these verses.
What are some of the things that we think are important to us, essential even, and would struggle to give up?
Luke 9:59-62; Luke 18: 22 -23
How do we recognize things that cause us to stumble?
Psalms 143:10; Psalms 73:23-24; James 1:5
Why do you think Jesus made reference to the eye and not the ear or another body part?
Matthew 6:22-23; Luke 11:34-36; Psalms 101:3; II Peter 2:14
How do we defend ourselves against things that cause us to stumble?
Psalms 119:11; Hebrews 12:1-2; Matthew 6:33; 2 Chronicles 12:14; Psalms 27:8.
Have a blessed week.