So the question yesterday that a guy at Sunday School asked was about Matthew 5.27-30, where Jesus talks about ripping out eyes and chopping off hands if they lead you to sin. He asked if we should take that seriously or not. I love the way he asked that question, because you can only answer YES if the question is ‚ÄúShould we take what Jesus said seriously?‚Äù
Ok, so that leads to some discussion, and then I realized this: I think of every other command or teaching in the sermon on the mount as literal and right and what people should do, except for these 3 verses.
what?! How can that be? How can we have pick-and-choose discipleship?
I hear people say, ‚ÄúJesus is obviously exaggerating because poking out your eye wouldn‚Äôt change your heart. It wouldn‚Äôt stop you from lusting on the inside.‚Äù
It wouldn‚Äôt? Isn‚Äôt is through hardship that we learn to be closer to God? If I sat down and gouged out my eyeball, it seems like that would be an event that would stick with me for a while. And if I associated it with lust, then next time wouldn‚Äôt I absolutely cower in fear? If I chopped my hand off, would I not consider the consequences of sin whenever I reached to commit the sin, and there was nothing there?! I know I sound a little absurd, but I want to get out of this mode of applying 21st century ‚Äòreason‚Äô to the words of Jesus.
We don‚Äôt say that Jesus is exaggerating to make a point about other extreme things He taught. I just wonder if maybe we want to keep our eyes and our hands a little too much. We‚Äôd rather literally pay off a debt or forgive an enemy, but don‚Äôt *really* ask us to chop off our hands. hmmmm