Unlimited: Cut Off Your Hand
Jan 26, 2021 1015
If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where “‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched’ (Mark 9:43–48, NIV).
The disciples were horrified to hear Jesus say that if anyone causes someone who professes to believe in him to stumble, that it would be better if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.
These are some of the strongest words that Jesus ever spoke.
One of the most brilliant people in the history of early Christianity was Origen. He took these kinds of sayings literally. He had a problem with sexual sin, and so, shockingly, he castrated himself. But that’s not what Jesus was saying at all. His words have a spiritual meaning.
The lesson that Jesus wanted to make sure that his disciples understand is that eternal life is so important, that we must let nothing, nothing at all, stand in the way of our salvation.
And in context, as we studied early, Jesus was specifically talking about being unloving and unkind to others. If there is anything unloving or unkind in us, we must allow God to cut it out of our lives, to ensure that it doesn’t separate us from God.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: There is a spiritual challenge in Jesus’ very confronting teaching here, and here it is: What are you prepared to sacrifice for Christ? Your time? Your energy? Your money? Your reputation? Are you letting anything stand in the way between you and Jesus? It’s time to let it let go.