Monday, March 28, 2016

Jesus command Us to Go for Spiritual Surgery (Mark 9:42-48)

If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where ‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched’
(Mark 9:43-48,

I think this section of Scripture is a good illustration that people need to know what the Bible means, not just what it says. If Jesus’ commands above were to be taken literally, every believer alive would need to cut almost all part of their bodies. Which of us has never sinned with our eyes (lusting, coveting), hands (stealing, hitting), or feet (walking into trouble)? If we all did precisely what the Bible said in this case, we would need to line up for amputations service!

Jesus was using hyperbole (spell high-per-boe-lee). It is an exaggeration for effect and emphasis. You hear hyperbole every day: “I’ve told you a million times”; “I was so embarrassed I could have died”; “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.” The statements are not literally true but are overstated to drive home a point. The point that Jesus was driving home was that there are two ways to use your physical body – for God’s purposes or against God’s purposes. If your goal is to serve God, and yet your body do things that do not please God, your body is your enemy. Jesus wants you, His followers, to give your eyes, hands and feet – and everything else for that matter – to Him as well as your soul.

The Apostle Paul said it this way: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1). God is not interested in watching people chop themselves to holiness, but rather He wants them to discipline their physical bodies to match their spiritual commitment to Christ. Thus, you must takes sin and its consequences very seriously (“hell where the fire never goes out”; “the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched”; scary!), as this passage shows.

It would have been nice if we can hear first-hand what the Master said and asking Him about what He meant exactly. But here is some good news: Today, wherever you go, His Spirit is within you and His Word is before you. Walk with Christ so that you can be more like Him. Nothing should stand in the way of faith. You must be ruthless in removing sins from your life now in order to avoid being stuck with them for eternity. Make your choices from an eternal perspective. Go for a spiritual surgery now!

Think: What sins you need to “cut off” and “pluck out” from your life
to be what God really wants you to be?

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