Pluck Out Your Eye

From Issue: Discovery 10/1/2005

Have you ever thought about how much work your eyes do? They do a lot more than we might think. Our eyes constantly process an amazing amount of information, and “capture” many colors, shapes, lights, images, and motions. However, in all of the work they do, sometimes our eyes come across some things that are not good to look at, things that are evil. If we choose to look at those evil things over and over again, we may start thinking evil thoughts. These kinds of situations lead us to commit sins with our eyes. Of course, this is not something our eyes do by them­ selves. Instead, our mind tells our eyes what to do, and we have control of our mind. When our mind is corrupted, it can direct our bodies toward sinful actions (cf. Matthew 15:18-20).

So, what did Jesus mean when He said, “…if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out…. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire” (Matthew 18:9)? Does Jesus expect us literally to remove our eyes from our bodies?

Let’s look at the reason Jesus gave for suggesting this: “It is better for you ….” Jesus always wants what is best for us. He greatly desires for us to “enter into life [heaven],”and not be “cast into hell fire.” As we already stated, our eyes are controlled by our mind. If we can control the thoughts in our mind, then we will control what our eyes see and look at. This is what Jesus was really emphasizing. He did not intend for us literally “to pluck out” our eyes; instead, Jesus wanted us to purify ourselves-our thoughts, motives , and desires-by carefully choosing what we see with our eyes (read Psalm 101:3).

It may not be easy to do, but you can be successful if you are determined.


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