Cut Off Your Hand and Pluck Out Your Eye
Daily Bible Reading – Numbers 30,31; Mark 9
Today’s Key Passage – Mark 9:42-50
In today’s key passage, Jesus makes one of the most radical statements in the Bible. He tells us that if our hand or foot causes us to sin, we should cut it off, and if our eye causes us to sin, we should pluck it out. According to Jesus, it would be far better for us to live our lives here on earth maimed than to spend eternity in hell. What exactly is Jesus saying here? Does he literally want us to pluck out our eye or cut off our hand? Probably not. As you have likely guessed, Jesus is using imagery to help us get the point. Basically, what Jesus is calling us to do is rid ourselves from temptation.
We all know that sin can be a difficult thing to master. Just when we think we have figured it out and we are doing well, we get hit with another temptation. The woman behind the counter is rude to us. An ex from high school contacts you on Facebook and asks if you want to get together. The man handing you back change miscounts and gives you ten dollars too much. The new hire at your office starts flirting with you. Temptations to sin can literally come from anywhere at any time. That is simply the way the enemy works. We often find ourselves dealing with temptations, and most of the time, our natural tendency is to simply believe we can handle it. We believe we can be strong enough to overcome the temptations and avoid sinning, and maybe we are right, but Jesus tells us there is a better way. Jesus tells us to cut off the temptations completely.
The problem with temptation is that even when we do not succumb and actually sin, the temptation itself might still be affecting our relationships. Our relationships with our friends and family might suffer. Our relationship with our spouse might suffer. Our relationship with God might even suffer. Even when we believe we can handle temptations, the bottom line is that we often cannot change the way we feel. Anything that we allow into our hearts is going to affect our lives and our relationships. The wandering eye, what we watch on TV, and what we see on the Internet are all going to affect our relationships. The good news is that even if we cannot always change the way we feel, we can change the circumstances that are causing us to feel that way.
Jesus wants us to take radical steps if necessary to cut off the temptations before they become a problem. What does that look like? What is too radical? Is quitting your job too radical? What about moving to a different neighborhood, or getting rid of your computer? Are any of these things too radical? Absolutely not. We should do whatever we have to do to avoid the temptation to sin. Is your job or your house really worth more than your relationship with your spouse or your relationship with God? Do not take chances when it comes to temptations. Follow Jesus’ advice and cut them off.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.
Posted on March 2, 2013, in 02 - Mark and tagged Bible, Christian, Daily Bible, Daily Devotional, God, God's Character, Godly Living, Jesus, Religion, Sin, Temptation. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.