In Matt 18:7-9 Jesus issues the most daring, startling command ever! “if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.”
The point is, either way, it’s going to hurt!! It’s not going to feel good to chop off a hand, to lose a foot, or to gouge out an eye. Jesus spoke of body parts to represent people and things that lead us to sin because it’s not easy to remove them from our lives. We get accustomed to having two hands, two feet, and two eyes. We also get accustomed to our sin. The problem, however, is that sin leads to eternal death! It hurts to cut off a hand – it’s worse to enter an eternal hell.
Following Jesus is a call – a drastic, counter-culture call – to decide which pain and which pleasure we believe is most satisfying and valuable. We will know pain and pleasure whether or not we follow Jesus. The question is which pain and which pleasure can you live with?
When we embrace Christ as our treasure and joy, the pain comes now as we sever sin and its root from our lives, and ultimate, everlasting pleasure is forever. When we embrace self as our treasure and joy, the pleasure comes now because sin is temporarily pleasurable, but the pain of eternal ruin is eternal. So…what will you remove? What will we sever in order to glorify Him and resist temptation?