What Jesus Did! 'Radical Prevention!' — Matthew 18:8-9

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

"If your hand or your foot makes you sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose part of your body but have life forever. That is much better than to have two hands and two feet but be thrown into the fire (hell) that burns forever. If your eye makes you sin, take it out and throw it away. It is better for you to have only one eye but have life forever. That is much better than to have two eyes but be thrown into the fire of hell."
— Matthew 18:8-9 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 18:8-9 NLT — "If your hand or your foot makes you sin, cut it off and throw it away."

Key Thought

In a time with few, if any, social services or protection for those who were maimed, handicapped, or disabled, to lose a limb or an eye was to be sentenced to a life of begging, poverty, shame, and ridicule. Even now, none of us would like to lose one of our senses or one of our limbs. Jesus uses these shocking statements to awaken his disciples, and to rattle us, out of our lethargy. Sin is not to be taken lightly. Sin leads to judgment and the eternal fire. As bad as it would be to lose a body part, it would be much worse to lose our souls in eternal punishment.
Jesus' words are sharp, radical, and important. There is at least one thing more important than health and mobility—our salvation. So let's not let anything, nor any temptation, nor any sin distract our hearts from the character of Jesus!

Today's Prayer

Holy God, I do not want to let anything separate my heart, my allegiance, and my behavior from the character you desire. I thank you for the grace of Jesus that has made me righteous and I commit myself to reflecting that righteousness in my daily life. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Jude 1:3-4
  • Galatians 5:19-21
  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.