“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”
Verses 29 and 30 show how to deal with adultery.
If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away.
The “right” eye and the “right” hand are the most valuable eye and hand. This indicates depriving oneself of something most important.
The words “causes you” carry the idea of being a snare to. There are sexual occasions to sin that we need to recognize. We need to beware of the occasion to sin as well as the sin itself.
Jesus uses hyperbole here (an exaggeration to make a point) of tearing out the right eye. He did not teach physical mutilation of blinding oneself, for it is not the eye itself or the hand itself that causes sin but the mental seeing and executing that is the origin of sin.
For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.
Jesus just taught on the mental aspect of adultery (v. 28), so now His point is that we must deal with mental adultery radically. It is not something to play with in our minds. The way to deal with adultery is to decisively reject lustful thoughts.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.
Again, this is hyperbole. The right hand is a limb of action.
For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
The alternative to not dealing decisively with sexual sin is hell. It is better to deal with the issue of sin by acknowledging sin and the One who paid for our sin on the cross. The standard for Jesus’ kingdom is perfection. The only way we can reach perfection is complete forgiveness and justification through Christ. The standard of perfection is God’s own character.
Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. Mt 5:48
Sexual sin must be dealt with radically.
Absence from the physical act of adultery is not enough. It is possible to be outwardly reputable but to traverse the road of mental adultery. Dealing with sexual sin starts with the inner life. This requires the drastic action of decisively dealing with our thoughts.
Mental adultery ignites the fire for overt adultery. Lust leads to possession. This usually follows with stark rationalization or justification for overt adultery.
Love and lust are not the same thing. Lust is the antithesis of love, for it dehumanizes the other into an object; therefore, it warps the relationship. The fuel for this is selfish lust. Love seeks the best for the other person.
…having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. 2 Pe 2:14
We must view sexual sin with the attitude of mortification; that is, we deal ruthlessly with anything that comes between us and God.
“I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman? Job 31:1
“If my heart has been enticed by a woman, Or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door… Job 31:9
One of the most effective ways of dealing with sexual sin is to flee. Joseph fled from Potiphar’s wife. We cannot toy with this sin. We do not pray about it, debate it, think about it. We run from it.
Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 1 Co 6:18
Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Ti 2:22