Matthew 18: If Your Eye Offends…
There is a part of Matthew 18 that makes many people cringe. Jesus was definitely okay with making people feel uncomfortable, but this one still makes people uncomfortable today.
Mat 18:7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
Mat 18:8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
Mat 18:9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
It seems that Jesus is commanding His followers to mutilate themselves. After all, I think that we all have sinned. It seems to me that we all have looked at something, touched something or went somewhere that probably was not the best decision. Why do we still have our eyes, hands or feet? Are we simply ignoring the command of Jesus because we don’t want to go through with it?
I don’t think so. It is important to look at the context. You will note that is that it is better to enter life without an extremity than it is to sin because of that. For example, in verse nine, it is hypothetically presented that this person’s eye is all that is causing him or her to sin. Therefore, if that was the only problem, even though it might seem really bad to have a temporary disability here on earth, it is much better to have that and not fall into the isolated sin in this example.
Jesus was making a comparison here that seems to indicate how bad it will be for those who are separated from God eternally. If the only thing that was causing you to sin was your feet, it would be better not to have them here on earth and not be condemned. This is obviously simplified for the sake of the illustration, but Jesus is not prescribing that everyone needed to demolish their bodies.
Sin is something that ought to be avoided if one wants to avoid condemnation. Unfortunately, everyone has sinned. I think that should be rather obvious. We all stand condemned before God. How amazing is it then that Jesus Christ died to be our Savior? We can live forever with Him and have our sins washed away.