Chop Off Your Feet?

May 14, 2009

“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.” – Mark 9:45

One of my favorite books is Lonesome Dove. In one scene, Gus has been shot in his leg and gangrene set in. The doctor wants to amputate the leg or he’s going to die. His best friend pleads with him to let the doc cut off the leg. Gus pulls a gun on ’em both, and refuses to let anyone touch the leg. And sure enough, he dies. Because he wasn’t willing to deal with the infection, his whole body dies.

Jesus speaks of cutting off our feet if they cause us to sin. He doesn’t mean literally – He is speaking of radical spiritual surgery. Maybe He is referring to feet that tend to run to activities that are not becoming of what God desires. Or it could be feet that tend to run from responsibility, like a father who deserts the home and the family, or an employee who runs from assigned duties. We don’t know exactly what He’s talking about, but He is very clear that this is a serious concern about sin in a person’s life. What Jesus is doing is using an analogy that sometimes a limb may become so infected that gangrene sets in and unless that limb is amputated, the whole body is going to die. And sometimes a sin is so dangerous that it fatally infects our souls. Just like Gus’s leg, that sin must be removed or we face the danger of death.

For some, it’s time to let the Great Physician perform radical spiritual surgery in an area that’s seriously infected by sin. Do it today – before it’s too late – and you die.