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Daily Reading – 23rd October 2016


Matthew 5.27-30 cont.

27 You have heard that it was said that: You shall not commit adultery”.

28 However, I tell that everyone looking at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

29 but if you right eye causes you to sin, take it out, and throw it away from you. It is better for you that one of your body parts should be destroyed rather than your whole body should be cast into hell.

30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away from you. It is better for you that one of your body parts should be destroyed rather than your whole body should go into hell.

How are we to deal with the unclean and adulterous thoughts of our hearts?

The remedy which Jesus gives is quite drastic, and it is to cut out the offending eye, and to cut off the offending hand. Did Jesus mean that we should literally take out our right eye and cut off our right hand? Perhaps it is not possible to give a definite answer to this. There are some that do believe that Jesus did mean this literally. However, I have never seen someone who has taken out his right eye or cut off his right hand!

It is generally agreed that Jesus was talking figuratively. In those days the right eye was seen to be the eye of the senses, and it was through the right eye that our passions are inflamed.

In 2 Peter 2.14 we read:

They commit adultery with their eyes, and their desire for sin is never satisfied. They lure unstable people into sin, and they are well trained in greed. They live under God’s curse – (NLT).

The right hand was, and is, generally the hand that did most of the work, and to be without it would be more crippling than the loss of the left hand. To lose either the right eye or the right hand would create a very severe handicap.

However, if this is a figurative saying of Jesus we need to understand what He is saying. It is most likely that the meaning is that we should avoid at all costs allowing the eye to lead the senses into evil and wicked intentions.

It is said that the eyes are the windows of the soul. The eyes allow images to be imprinted on our minds. Therefore, we must train our eyes to only look and dwell on the good, which are the things of Jesus. Likewise with our hands, which are the labourers of our minds. We must train all our actions to do the work of Jesus, and busy ourselves so much that there is no time for the evil deeds of men or satan.

Paul wrote these words:

[3:1] Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honour and power.

[2] Let Heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth.

[3] For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God – Colossians 3.1-3 (NLT).


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