"The command to get rid of troublesome eyes, hands and feet
is an example of our Lord’s use of dramatic figures of speech. What he was advocating was not a literal physical self-maiming, but a ruthless moral self-denial...to reject sinful practices so resolutely that we die to them or put them to death.
"What does this involve in practice?" asks Stott. "Let me elaborate and so interpret Jesus' teaching: If your eye causes you to sin because temptation comes to you through your eyes (objects you see), then pluck out your eyes. That is, don’t look! Behave as if you had actually plucked out your eyes and flung them away, and were blind and so could not see the objects which previously caused you to sin.
"Again, if your hand or foot causes you to sin, because temptation comes to you through your hands (things you do) or your feet (places you visit), then cut them off. That is: don’t do it! Don’t go! Behave as if you had actually cut off your hands and feet, and had flung them away, and were now crippled and so could not do the things or visit the places which previously caused you to sin.'"
--John Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount, The Bible Speaks Today, p. 89.
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