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What Does the Bible Say About … MATTHEW 5:29-30?

What does Matt 5:29-30 mean concerning gouging out one’s right eye?

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Let us read first  Matt 5:29-30

“If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away.  It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.  It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”  NIV

Does Jesus really recommend us to gouge our right eye out and cut our right hand? Aren’t we all sinners: Rom 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”? NIV Hasn’t our sins been caused through the means of our right eye and through the means of our right hand?  Are we supposed to live maimed in life or burn in hell?

If that was Jesus intentions, then His own disciples were in big trouble, as none of them applied this text literally into their lives. 

But how can I gouge my right eye out then?

The text gives the right connotation: “If your right eye causes you to sin”.  In other words “if you let your eye lead you into sin.” 

How can we let our eyes lead us into sin?

By letting them rest too long on the object we are tempted with.

Did you notice that Jesus says this right after these words: Matt 5:28-29 “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  NIV 

Jesus is dealing here with adultery in the heart.  You cannot go on living like that without the fires of hell consuming you!  Look at King David’s adultery with the wife of one his fine officers. What caused this?  One late afternoon, he was strolling on his palace roof and saw a woman bathing (see 2 Sam 11:2…).  His eyes rested longer than anticipated on the object of his temptation and the rest is history, to the horror of King David.

Lust will destroy you, my friend.  It consumes you and even makes you abandon your goals and ideals of life.  I have heard of a man who lived in sin, who couldn’t even recall the names of his own children!  People living in lust are willing to lose their own jobs, family, children, only to satisfy the bondage they are living in!

This warning that Jesus has given us, is repeated again in Matt 18:8-9.  Two warnings from God in the same Bible book, means we better take this seriously!

Whatever leads you into sin, put these away my friend.  No freedom can be found in those!  No happiness can be realized through those!

Are you living according these above-mentioned words, my friend?  Are you feeling frustrated because no matter what you do, this bondage to lust seems to be unbreakable?  I have great news for you.  It can be broken, my friend.  No matter what you try to do by your own means, it will lead only to your despair.  The only solution can be found in Jesus.  He promised: John 8:31-32 “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  NIV Only through Him can you experience victory, like those in Jesus’ time, like the many like myself who have experienced that.  These words can become true to you: 1 John 5:4-5 “For everyone born of God overcomes the world.  This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world?  Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”  NIV

Why don’t you invite Him now into your heart by answering the Saviour’s Call! To do so, click here!

This curse can be broken!  Hallelujah!  Thank you Jesus for making this possible.

Rob Chaffart


Simply put, it is showing that Christians should not tolerate sin as an integral part of their lives. If an individual has a sinful habit, he should overcome it, even though the process may be as painful as the loss of an arm or leg. Christ is saying that it is far better to forsake a sinful pleasure than to lose salvation.



The point is this: sin has eternal consequences; eyes are only temporary.

BUT don’t gouge out your eyes! If Christ is your Lord, then you have power over sin. So, make changes that are less expensive/ valuable than removing part of your body. Satan would love for you to gouge out your eyes, but there are many other options.

For me, my big block Ford Mustang was a continual temptation to speed or drag race on the streets. Instead of cutting off my right foot, I sold the car at a loss. There are other examples of things one might do. If you are inclined towards internet porn, you can buy a filter or have online accountability (I forget the name. Note to editor: insert company name here if you know it). This company will E-mail your buddy a list of every site you visit. Or go off-line. Or sell your computer.

Todd Shilt