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Tag Archives: Commands of Jesus

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 5:29-30

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says something that must certainly have seized His hearers’ attention: “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” (Matthew 5:29–30). Jesus repeats the admonition in Matthew 18:8–9, except there He adds the need to dispense with a foot as well as a hand and an eye.

The graphic word pictures of Matthew 5 and Matthew 18 still grab attention today, and they raise the question of how literally we should take Jesus’ commands in these passages. Does Jesus actually mean to say that we should pluck out our eyes or sever a hand if we are prone to sin? It may be of comfort to know that Jesus’ instructions in these particular verses are not meant to be taken literally. We need not mutilate our bodies as a punishment for our sin. Rather, Jesus means that we should be prepared to make exceptional sacrifices if we want to follow Him (see Matthew 16:24).

Jesus had just warned His audience against using their eyes for lustful purposes (Matthew 5:28), so His prescribed remedy for lust—to pluck out an eye—makes sense, in a radical sort of way. But it is the radical nature of His statement that makes it so memorable.

When Jesus advises us to pluck out a sinful eye or cut off an unruly hand, He is employing a figure of speech known as hyperbole. Hyperbole is an obvious exaggeration or an intentional overstatement. Examples of hyperbole in modern speech would include statements like “This bag of groceries weighs a ton,” “I’ve been waiting forever,” and “Everyone knows that.” The apostle Paul uses hyperbolic language in Galatians 4:15. Hyperbole, like other figures of speech, is not meant to be taken literally.

Jesus’ purpose in saying, hyperbolically, that sinners should pluck out their eyes or cut off their hands is to magnify in His hearers’ minds the heinous nature of sin. Sin is any action or thought that is contrary to the character of God. The result of sin is death, from which Jesus wants to preserve us (see Hebrews 2:9). Jesus warns of hell because He doesn’t want people to go there (Matthew 5:29–30).

Sin takes people to hell (see Revelation 21:8), and that makes sin something to avoid at all costs. Jesus says that, whatever is causing you to sin, take drastic measures to get that thing out of your life. “It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. . . . It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell” (Matthew 18:8–9). Nothing is worth missing heaven for. Nothing is worth going to hell for. Nothing.

God takes sin seriously—seriously enough to sacrifice His only begotten Son to destroy it. We must take sin seriously as well. A lack of repentance is a crime punishable by eternal death. It is better to deny our flesh—to pluck out an eye or cut off a hand, as it were—than to risk sinning against God. God demands holiness (1 Peter 1:15), but we naturally tend to pamper ourselves and excuse our sin. That is why we need Jesus’ shocking, radical hyperbole to wake us from our spiritual complacency.

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So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison.

Matthew 5:23-25
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Repent. This is one of the first commands the Lord gives us in His ministry. This is also one of the first commands we will be sharing as we continue the challenge we offered out to our followers.

From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.

Matthew 4:17

For those of you who missed our last broadcast HERE, towards the end, I issued a challenge to all the listeners to go back into the Gospel of Matthew and write down all the command and instructions Jesus gives, and think about how they can apply to your own life.

What is repentance and why is it important?

Repentance is one of the most important aspects of the Christian faith. One can not enter into the Kingdom of God without first repenting of their sins, and turning to Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

the action of repenting; sincere regret or remorse.

Sourced by Google

Repentance is not just a biblical idea, but in our human nature, we find moments in our life when we should do and must repent. This could be caused by an offense we may have committed on a loved one. Or even realizing our criminal actions, and the punishment that awaits us if we continue a life of crime.

It is the idea of feeling deep sorrow for our condition, and the desire to fix it or be free from it. Realizing that our own failures deserve a just response of discipline or resolve.

The bakers bible dictionary shares this...

The act of repudiating sin and returning to God. Implicit in this is sorrow over the evil that one has committed and a complete turnabout in one's spiritual direction: turning from idols - anything that pulls away the affection that we owe God - to God. (1 Samuel 7:3; 2 Chronicles 7:14, Isaiah 55:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:9, James 4:8-10).

Bakers Bible Dictionary

Repentance is more than just asking for forgiveness, it is more than deciding to go to church on a Sunday morning, it is more than just recognizing God as the creator. It is a complete turn around from an old sinful way of life.

What are the Elements of Repentance?

This is where it gets scholastic. How we can recognize if we have had a period of repentance can be viewed in this way...

  1. A recognition of one's sin, its damaging effects on life and nature, its affront to God's word and authority, and its dire consequences (Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 3:23; 8:19-22; Revelation 21:8).
  2. Personal outrage and remorse over one's sin, grief at one's helplessness, and a deep longing for forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration.
  3. A personal response to God's grace in choosing a new spiritual direction by breaking with the past and returning to God. This includes confession and renunciation of sin, and prayer for God's forgiveness (Leviticus 5:5, Proverbs 28:13, 1 John 1:9).
  4. In some circumstances, repentance may require restitution (Exodus 22:1-15; 1 Samuel 12:3; 2 Samuel 12:6; Luke 19:8).
  5. At its core, repentance is a rejection of the autonomous life and surrender of oneself to the lordship of Christ (Jeremiah 3:22; Mark 8:34-38)
  6. The proof of true repentance is the worthy fruit of a changed life (Luke 3:7-14; Ephesians 4:17-32; Colossians 1:10).

If you have not gone through this process, this does not mean it is the end. In fact, this is just the beginning. Christ offers forgiveness to any and all people who would realize their sins and turn from them. If this is you, I would like to encourage you to take a moment to turn off any distractions, find a quiet place and process your sins to the Lord.