Leslie M. John
“And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell” (Matthew 5:29-30)
Lord Jesus taught us as to what actually killing and adultery mean. We would know that the New Testament has not given liberty for man to violate any of the Ten Commandments, and it also means that the Old Testament commandments can be overlooked. The Lord’s teachings show us the right perspective that we are not at liberty to get angry with our brothers without a cause, or call them “Raca” or say “fool”. Looking at a woman and lusting after her is tantamount to having committed adultery with her already in heart. It is a completed act in heart even though physical offence was not committed.
“…whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire” Matthew 5:22
“…whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” Matthew 5:28
It shows how hard it is for a man to be pure according to the teachings of Lord Jesus Christ over the Old Testament laws. Many would think that Old Testament laws are hard to follow, but when we ponder very closely as to what Jesus meant by adultery or killing, it is evident as to how careful we should be in our daily life rather harder than thinking that the New Testament is more liberal than the Old Testament.
Continuing on those teachings, Lord Jesus Christ says that while looking at a woman if our right eye causes us to lust after her, which is to be treated as the completion of the act of adultery, then the eye that was the cause for such offense, should be plucked out and cast it away from us; because it is profitable to enter into heaven with one eye rather than being cast into the hell with both the eyes that lusted after woman.
The Lord reiterates these instructions in Matthew 18:7-10, where he says woe to the man by whom offences come and continues saying if any of our hands or feet offends us we should cast them away from us, because, He says, it is better for us to enter into life maimed rather than being cast into everlasting fire with two hands or two feet that have offended us.
“Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 18:7-10)
The seriousness of the emphasis Lord Jesus was laying on purity was misunderstood, by some fanatics, who have physically mutilated their physical organs only to find that the heart can still commit sin by calling our brothers as ‘fools’, and minds can wander to lust after women. It is the heart and mind that we should keep under control with the help of Holy Spirit in us; rather than physically maiming oneself. That is what the Lord actually meant in saying those words rather than giving an impression that cutting of our physical organs can keep us pure.