NIV - 29 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.
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Giving the reason why one should get rid of the offending member that may cause a moral fall and loss of the soul by some means.Would it not be more profitable to do this literally than to have all members cast into eternal hell? The whole idea is to get rid of offending members that constantly cause sin. (Mt 18:8-9) as Jesus is simply emphasizing the terribleness of eternal hell. There is a better method than this provided by the gospel. If one will become a new creature in Christ by the new birth this problem of sinful members will be solved (2Cor. 5:17-18 Gal. 5:16-26 Rom. 6:16-23; 8:1-13 1Jn. 1:7; 2:29; 3:6-10; 5:1-5,18).
Jesus was using such graphic and extreme language for emphasis in stressing to his listeners that any effort that we might have to make in order to avoid sin (regardless of how difficult or even painful that effort might be, or how much it might seem to cost us in earthly terms with respect to "missing out" on the temporal benefit or pleasure that disobeying God might bring us) is better than enduring the eternal separation from God that will result from committing unrepentant sin.
I believe at that time there was a general idea that evil spirits or demons could and did reside in particular parts of the body to influence men to sin through that part. By removing the offending part, the evil spirit would also be removed. This belief is ignored today, but hasn't been disproved. However, Christ removed demons through his authority as the Word of God, and the Christian practice of exorcism continues on even today. We have a much better remedy now than the Jews did back then for demonic possession.
In Matthew 5:29 Jesus is not talking in a literal sense - he is using a metaphor to teach an important lesson. It means that when we are tempted by what we see, we are much better-off to deprive ourselves of that particular brief moment of pleasure in favor of eternal life. If something is tempting us to sin, it is better to cut that thing entirely out of our view. In more practical terms, if something we see on TV or Internet makes us sin, until we get victory over that particular sin, we are better-off without a TV or Internet service. For David, would have been much better to go off to battle the enemy rather than going up to the roof of his palace and stare at Bathsheba bathing (2 Samuel 11:2-4). That one moment of lapse in judgment led to adultery and murder - although it appeared that David learned his lesson from this painful experience (Psalm 101:3). If someone would have asked David what he was doing on the roof, most likely would have said “nothing, just looking.” Jesus here is giving us practical advice on how to avoid situations that might result in habitual sinning (2 Peter 1:4).
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