7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! 8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.
9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
Jesus again used hyperbole, one of his favourite rhetorical devices. Take extreme measures, if necessary, to avoid sin.
To my mind, there are two types of sin, unpremeditated, and planned, lifestyle sort of sin. Lashing out verbally when provoked, telling a white lie when on the spot, is a different kettle of fish to deliberately taking revenge, telling or writing a deliberate lie. Of course, if one habitually loses one’s temper, then examination, analysis and repentance is necessary
It is worth remembering the absolute seriousness with which Jesus took sin. And now I am going to pause to reflect on areas in which I might habitually persist in sin–and repent.
(Which led to a costly decision!!)
ESV notes–Matthew 18 is the fourth of Jesus’s five major discourses in Matthew’s Gospel.
Jesus uses hyperbole (intentional overstatement) to emphasize the necessity of rigorous self-discipline and radically removing sin from the disciples’ life before it leads to judgement.
NIV –“Deal as drastically as necessary with sin, in order to remove it from your life.”