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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


Hand, Foot, Eye

“If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’” (Mark 9:43-48, NIV)

Let’s start by getting straight the manner of speech Jesus uses.

He is not giving you permission to do self-amputation! If He were, then the Early Church and the Church throughout the centuries to the present time would be full of one-handed, one-footed, and one-eyed members!

Jesus uses a figure of speech called hyperbole. Two Greek words give the meaning of the word. Hyper is used as a prefix. It’s carried directly over into the English languages in words like hypersensitive and hypertension. “Bole” morphs into our language as “ball” and literally means “to throw.” When “hyper” and “bole” are put together as one word, it means “to overthrow,” a deliberately exaggerated statement given for effect.

What’s Jesus getting at in using such terms? What do we need to cut out of our lives in order to avoid hell and demonstrate that we are citizens of the kingdom of God?

The hand represents what we do or what we don’t do that we should. I can make my hand a fist to hit others or I can use my hand to help. Put a hammer in your hand and you can either destruct or construct, you can destroy or build. You can use your hand to shake your finger at God or employ your hand to lift in praise to the One who made and redeemed you. What will you do with your hand?

The foot represents direction. It’s not as dexterous as the hand but it charts the path we take, walking us step by step through life. It leads us to the right places, the wrong places, or no place at all. There are eternal consequences for the directional choices we make. Where is your foot heading?

The eye represents vision. What is your eye seeing? Is it pleasing to God or displeasing?

We err if we think this teaching relates only to sexual temptation. Jesus, for example, accused the Pharisees for looking at others by externals rather than with compassion. They were quick to see what was wrong and blind to what was right. Instead of stretching their hands to Jesus, directing their feet to follow Him, fastening their eyes on Him, they lifted their hands to smite Him, propelled their feet to pursue Him to the cross, and saw Him as a blasphemer.

Remember Eve in the Garden of Eden? She saw with her eyes the forbidden fruit, took it with her hands, and walked with her feet to Adam. Look at the mess that the first couple created for the human race because they did not guard their eyes, hands or feet. You create the same mess for yourself and others when you follow their bad example.

Misery, and ultimately hell, follows those who make wrong choices.


A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, may what I do, where I go, and what I see please You.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

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2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

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