8 If your hand or your foot causes your downfall, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into the eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes your downfall, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, rather than to have two eyes and be thrown into hellfire!
Why did Jesus use an extreme illustration of cutting one’s body parts to avoid going to hell?
Hell is so terrible that you have to take decisive action to avoid going there at all cost because it is eternal.
If you would cross reference the verses above with Matthew 5:27-29 it will shed more light on the meaning of Jesus’ illustration. See below.
27 “You have heard that it was said, Do not commit adultery. 28 But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
1. Eye-Those who lust after women/men and material things. For these things are keeping them away from Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:9, Matthew 19:23, Mark 10:23, 1 Timothy 6:9-10).
2. Hand-Refers to those who steal because they are given over to covetousness that they will go to any length to get it.
The thief must no longer steal. Instead, he must do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need.
3. Foot-Those who run off to commit murder for the sake of money or revenge. To murder someone, the individual must harbor deep hatred towards a person (Leviticus 19:17-19). Jesus is love but a murderous person has pure hatred which reflects Satan in their life. A person with deep hatred cannot open his heart to Jesus because it has become callous.
Their feet run after evil, and they rush to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are sinful thoughts; ruin and wretchedness are in their paths.
How does a person cut off their hand, foot and gouge out their eye? By running to Jesus (by placing their faith in Him) who will cut them off and replace them with an eye that is used for seeing who is in need of help. The hand to rescue and the foot to run and tell someone the good news (Romans 10:15).
Without Jesus in your life, you are being used by Satan to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26) and also to satisfy your sinful desires but at the end, your reward will be hell. It’s not worth it, run to Jesus today and He will make you into a new man. See picture above.