Monday, August 2, 2010

Lopping off body parts...

"If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. 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. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell." Jesus (Matthew 18:8-9)
Preachers use good sermon illustrations more than once and Jesus was no exception.

His most [in]famous illustration was the call to cut off an offending hand or pluck out an offending eye - he used it here when the disciples argued over who among them would be the greatest, and in his Sermon on the Mount when talking about adultery.1

With an illustration you have to ask what it is illustrating. What, here, is the real body part that causes the problems? It's not the hand or eye, they just do what they are told - it has to be the heart and mind that does the offending; one can have no body parts left and still be just a depraved as before.

What Jesus is really advocating is a heart transplant - that's available for the asking!
"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. - Ezekiel 36:26
- fritz

1 - Matthew 5:29-30

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