Temptations to Sin
42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’
The grandchildren were sitting there, wide-eyed, thinking about this. I do sin with my hand...should I cut it off? I do sin with my feet...I've kicked my brother, and run to play instead of obeying Mommy....should I cut off my feet? And I've used my eyes to look at cartoons when I'm supposed to be doing my math. Does Jesus really want me to cut out my eyes?
We adults - parents and grandparents - assured the children.
No, you don't have to cut off your hands and feet. You don't have to pluck out your eyes. That's not going to solve anything, now is it? You'll just keep on sinning.
The problem is bigger than that. The problem is in your heart.
Grandboy nodded. He understood, the problem is in his heart.
The light slowly dawned.
You mean I have to cut out my heart?
Well, you can't do that, can you?
No. They all agreed. We can't cut out our hearts.
There's nothing we can do. This is serious stuff. That's why Jesus says those shocking statements. Cut it off, pluck it out. Get rid of it. If you don't, you won't be getting into heaven.
But we can't cut out our hearts. We need Someone to rescue us.
Jesus. Saviour. Heart Surgeon. He cuts out the heart of stone, and replaces it with a new heart of flesh.
And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.