So, A One-Eyed, One-Handed Man Walks Into Heaven
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” – Matthew 5:27-30
Today, we continue our look at the Sermon on the Mount. Verses 27-30 is the second of six passages where Jesus expounds on the Law, explaining how the people had been missing the meaning behind the Law.
In this example, Jesus deepens their understanding of the 6th commandment. As with the commandment about murder, this commandment isn’t just about the outward act of adultery, but the mind/heart sin of lust. It’s a sobering thought. Once again, we are faced with our sin, but is it really that big of a deal?
Jesus answers that in the verses that follow. Sin is so serious that it would be better to cut out an eye or remove a hand than allow those members to continue to lead you into sin.
No, Jesus isn’t telling us that at the first sign of temptation we should start dismembering ourselves. What Jesus is addressing here is the seriousness of sin, particularly unrepentant sin.
Sin is destructive. It, by definition, leads us away from God. When we sin, it is the Holy Spirit in us who moves us to repentance. When we, however, resist the Holy Spirit and refuse to repent we risk everything.
When we decide that the lust of our eyes or the anger in our heart is more important to us that God’s love and forgiveness, we are shunning His gracious gift. As we continue in that sin, we harden ourselves against the continual prompting of the Holy Spirit. Eventually, we may choose to reject God’s gift of forgiveness.
Jesus gives us a sobering warning. Do not choose a life of sin. The temporary pleasure of your sin is not worth Hell. So, if something in our life is continually leading us into sin, we should remove that from our life or take specific precautions to prevent it from leading us into sin.
To be clear, it’s not that we sin and instantly lose our salvation. It’s that when we continue to sin without repentance, we may eventually reject our faith and God’s grace. It’s the rejection of faith, then that condemns us.
We sin every day, but the Holy Spirit moves in us to bring us to repentance. When we through faith respond with repentance, we are assured of God’s forgiveness. Praise the Lord that He does that. God doesn’t just leave us in our sin. He doesn’t even sit and wait for us to start feeling repentant. He moves in us through His Word to confess our sin and He forgives and renews us. Praise the Lord!
Thank You for loving me so much that even when I sin, You move in me to lead me to You in repentance and You forgive me. Help me to always be repentant and always look to You for forgiveness, knowing that You will always keep Your promise to forgive me.
In Christ’s Service,