Mathew 18:8: what does it mean


#1

If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.


#2

Jesus is using hyperbole to make a point. He is stressing the importance of removing temptations to sin from our lives. He is not literally telling us to cut off our hands or feet.


#3

I agree, it means if we know something might lead us to sin we should take ourselves away from it.


#4

Jesus compared “cutting off limbs” to “cutting off relationships with close friends or family”.
Our limbs are “close to us” like friends or family. Christ commands us to cut with those most near and dear to us, when they are to us the immediate occasions of scandal.


#5

=isus;11646245]If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.

This is a metaphorical TEACHING.

Basically it makes three points:

1.“SIN” ALL sin is a direct attack against the Sovereignty of God. God who is “all goodness and Perfect” Abhors SIN!

  1. We therefore are to take Sin far more seriously than many of us do

  2. We have a MORAL obligation to 'AVOID THE NEAR OCCASION OF SIN."

Here is Haydock’s Catholic Commentary:

Ver. 8. And if thy hand, or thy foot, &c. These comparisons are to make us sensible, that we must quit and renounce what is most dear to us, sooner than remain in the occasions of offending God. (Witham) — These words more properly mean our relatives and friends, who are united to us as closely as the different members of the body. This he had touched upon before, yet he again repeats it, for nothing is so pernicious, nothing so dangerous, as the company and conversation of the dissolute. Connections of friendship and affinity, are sometimes more powerful in inclining us to good or evil, than open compulsion. On this account Christ, with great earnestness, commands us to cut with those most near and dear to us, when they are to us the immediate occasions of scandal. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lx.)”

God Bless you and thanks for asking,

Patrick


#6

Agreed. It is just like when He told us that we would have to hate our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters before following him or when He instructed us not to call any man ‘rabbai’ or ‘father’.
Agr


#7

If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble . . .

Hands and feet do not CAUSE us to sin.

Hand: “I’m going to make this guy/gal SIN!”.

Jesus is using hyperbole.


#8

To many of us, having hands, feet, eyes, ears, are essential to our lives and our beings. Yet, if using them causes us to sin in a manner to which would condemn us to eternal damnation (such as to look lustfully, touch to steal, etc) then it would be better to do anything we can to avoid sin, even if it means losing a limb, or some other ‘essential’ body part. Would we choose our arm over heaven? Do not ever seek to choose sin, in any way, over Christ. Of course, we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. If we can recognize what leads us to sin and attempt to turn away from it to the best we can, we should.

As others have said, we should also not let family or friends come before God, especially if they lead us to sin.


#9

Jesus showed in the healing of the paralytic that it’s better to have spiritual healing than physical healing.


#10

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