Anyone lost a finger lately?
I was driving past a low cost housing project and saw a number of large stones/rocks along the side of the road. I couldn’t make out where they might have come from, and so my mind wandered off to our country’s turbulent past where stone throwing at others was commonplace. It also reminded me that stone throwing was a thing that God commanded in the Old Testament to rid the community of sin. Seems quite brutal doesn’t it!
Then along came Jesus and He said that if your hand causes you to sin, chop it off; if your eye causes you to sin, then pluck it out. I look at this and I think, oh my hat, this is hectic. Quite shockingly though, this is quite prevalent in some countries of the world today. If you get caught stealing something small, they chop off a finger. If it is something big, then off comes the hand. On the whole, the community benefits because there is reduced crime.
The countries that exercise this type of justice are generally non-Christian. But one has to ask that if they recognise the benefit of radically dealing with crime, why don’t Christians recognise the benefit of radically dealing with sin in their lives? Look past the situation of God commanding stoning and Jesus commanding chopping off limbs, and look to the heart of the issue.
God loves us and He wants every single one of us to be with Him in heaven (see 2 Peter 3:9). But undealt with sin, will prevent this from happening. Both God and Jesus were showing us to what extent we must go to eradicate sin in our midst. Where the Old Testament was showing how to eradicate sin from within our midst as a community of believers, Jesus was showing us how to eradicate sin from our personal lives.
Both were extreme.
Both were severe.
Both were harsh.
Yet both are necessary.
Please, do not go chop off any limbs. But radically deal with those things that are causing you to sin. You have the power to do it. No sin is too great to resist. And whenever there is temptation, there is always the opportunity for you to resist it (see 1 Corinthians 10:13). It may cost you something; your reputation, your friends, maybe even your job. But the truth is that you CAN resist it. And when you do, others will look at your actions and say, “That was radical man!!”
And that sounds just like what they said about Jesus.
my name is darryl
and this is what I have to say
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.