Mark 9:43 - Hands do not sin, nor cause sin


#1

I've always had a problem with Mark 9:43 (and the similar foot/eye verses).

Mark 9:43

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire.

If my hand were to cause me to sin, then it would have free will and do whatever it wanted. My hand does not have free will, and thus cannot sin. It cannot cause me to sin either.

If I wanted to steal something, but I have no hand to accomplish that sin, then I have still sinned through my desire.

Since I do not hear this point of view expressed - I assume that I'm out in left field on this one. Can someone please let me know where I got lost? Many thanks!


#2

Jesus is using hyperbole to show that sometimes avoiding sin requires drastic measures.


#3

It’s just figurative language. If something leads you to sin, keep away from it. :thumbsup:


#4

You would have enjoyed the homily on EWTN today that talked about this scripture.
Let's say you have a 'friend' that maybe you drink too much with, do drugs, get into trouble. It's better to 'cut off' your relationship with him then for both of you to end up in hell. Let's say you are in an adulterous relationship. It's better to sever that relationship than for both of you to end up in hell.


#5

Of course, we are not to mutilate our bodies, and those who do are not named to sainthood. The Church does not take this verse as something to do literally.

However, there are often areas in our life that are occasions of sin, and breaking them off would seem almost like losing a part of one self. Our LORD wants us to take those areas very seriously, even using the issue of body parts as a comparison.

ICXC NIKA


#6

Well, I suppose that if having a hand were to present a condition where I would be tempted into sin, then it makes more sense.

Maybe I'm getting too literal when I read it. It seems like it is saying that the hand is hanging on the end of my arm and is actively working to create sin within myself.

But, in terms of avoiding the circumstances that cause a temptation to sin, I could see people cutting off their internet, for example...


#7

[quote="in_servitude, post:6, topic:327443"]
Well, I suppose that if having a hand were to present a condition where I would be tempted into sin, then it makes more sense.

Maybe I'm getting too literal when I read it. It seems like it is saying that the hand is hanging on the end of my arm and is actively working to create sin within myself.

But, in terms of avoiding the circumstances that cause a temptation to sin, I could see people cutting off their internet, for example...

[/quote]

Excellent example you gave about internet! Jesus uses many examples in parables and such that are not to be interpreted right to the letter.


#8

If we were to take literally the suggestion to cut off what causes us to sin, we’d all have to “amputate” our brains, because that’s where the sinful thoughts originate.


#9

[quote="DaveBj, post:8, topic:327443"]
If we were to take literally the suggestion to cut off what causes us to sin, we'd all have to "amputate" our brains, because that's where the sinful thoughts originate.

[/quote]

:thumbsup::thumbsup:

Sin arises in our soul first of all; our bodies, alive or dead do not contain sin.

Our hands/legs, etc only take orders from the mind via the will.

Our poor old human bodies! The most innocent part of our being, yet receive all the punishment and all the blame.

ICXC NIKA


#10

Your left hand refers to evil inside of you. Your right hand refers to lack of evil.


#11

[quote="teeboy, post:10, topic:327443"]
Your left hand refers to evil inside of you. Your right hand refers to lack of evil.

[/quote]

Oh? Matt. 5:20 -- "If your right hand causes you to sin . . ."


#12

[quote="DaveBj, post:11, topic:327443"]
Oh? Matt. 5:20 -- "If your right hand causes you to sin . . ."

[/quote]

Unless your justice exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees...

That doesn't say much for knowers of the Law.

Works! Works!


#13

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