5:27-32 Victory over the desires of the heart, must be attended with painful exertions. But it must be done. Every thing is bestowed to save us from our sins, not in them. All our senses and powers must be kept from those things which lead to transgression. Those who lead others into temptation to sin, by dress or in other ways, or leave them in it, or expose them to it, make themselves guilty of their sin, and will be accountable for it. If painful operations are submitted to, that our lives may be saved, what ought our minds to shrink from, when the salvation of our souls is concerned? There is tender mercy under all the Divine requirements, and the grace and consolations of the Spirit will enable us to attend to them.
29. And if thy right eye—the readier and the dearer of the two.
offend thee—be a "trap spring," or as in the New Testament, be "an occasion of stumbling" to thee.
pluck it out and cast it from thee—implying a certain indignant promptitude, heedless of whatever cost to feeling the act may involve. Of course, it is not the eye simply of which our Lord speaks—as if execution were to be done upon the bodily organ—though there have been fanatical ascetics who have both advocated and practiced this, showing a very low apprehension of spiritual things—but the offending eye, or the eye considered as the occasion of sin; and consequently, only the sinful exercise of the organ which is meant. For as one might put out his eyes without in the least quenching the lust to which they ministered, so, "if thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light," and, when directed by a holy mind, becomes an "instrument of righteousness unto God." At the same time, just as by cutting off a hand, or plucking out an eye, the power of acting and of seeing would be destroyed, our Lord certainly means that we are to strike at the root of such unholy dispositions, as well as cut off the occasions which tend to stimulate them.
for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell—He who despises the warning to cast from him, with indignant promptitude, an offending member, will find his whole body "cast," with a retributive promptitude of indignation, "into hell." Sharp language, this, from the lips of Love incarnate!