{5}         Plucking out the right eye [Mt 5:29]

Mt 5:29
If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.


·               Why did Jesus teach us self-mutilation? Will Jesus then approve the practice by some Catholic monks in monasteries to inflict pain and suffering on the body?


·               Sermon on the Mount, related to eternal fire of hell (Gehenna)


·               How did the eye lead one to sin? By resting too long on an object of temptation, e.g. King David’s adultery with Bathsheba (2Sa 11:2).

·               Eye is the medium through which temptation comes. Hand is the instrument by which sin is committed.

·               “Gouge it out” is a hyperbole (exaggerated figure of speech) used to emphasize the need for drastic action. Often sin can be conquered only by radical “spiritual surgery”.

·               Jesus is not teaching self-mutilation for even a blind man can lust. The point is that we should deal as drastically with sin as necessary.

·               The metaphorical language used here is to express the all-important truth that a limited but morally healthy life is better than a wilder life which is morally depraved.


·               Christian asceticism (practice of self-denial): if certain books, certain places, certain activities and certain people are causes of temptation to sin, they must be let go whatever the cost.


{6}         Lead us not into temptation [Mt 6:13; Lk 11:4]

Mt 6:13
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Lk 11:4
And lead us not into temptation.


·               “Temptation” ordinarily means temptation to sin. Does God lead us into temptation?


·               in the Lord’s prayer

·               the part “but deliver us from evil” is found in Matthew’s version but not in Luke’s version.

·               The last part in the Lord’s prayer that we usually use is not found in early manuscripts. (“for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”)


·               Jas 1:13, God “tempts no one”.

·               Temptation (Greek: peirasmos) means more than temptation to sin and includes a wider sense of testing.

·               In the case of Jesus, He was led into temptation (Mt 4:1) for the testing of His faith in God — to accept the path onto Calvary. From that testing He returned “in the power of the Spirit” (Lk 4:14) to begin His public ministry.

·               It is probable that Jesus is encouraging an attitude, the attitude to flee from temptation (cf. 1Co 6:18; 10:14; 1Ti 6:11; 2Ti 2:22) because He recognizes human weakness and how easily man gives way to the temptations of the world, the flesh and the Devil (1Jn 2:16 “the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does”).

·               The petition may also be specifically referring to Jesus’ admonition to His disciples in Gethsemane just before His arrest (Mk 14:38), such that the disciples would not fail in the test.


·               We may have confidence in our ability to stand in the time of trial and hence feel no need of the petition. But we should know that our faith is no more reliable than that of Peter and John who abandoned Jesus when He was arrested. We may well pray to be saved from a trial with which our faith cannot cope. Or, if the trial is inescapable, we should pray for the supply of heavenly grace necessary to endure it: “Grant that we may not fail in the test”.