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It is better to part with everything now that is detrimental to us

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Q. What does it mean in Mark 10.43-47 where it says that we are to cut off our hands and feet and cut out our eyes if they cause us to stumble?

A. These are idioms for things that are important to us. Let’s start in v 43 with the hand. 

His sense is that dear friends and relatives are to be renounced or “given up” if they draw us away from the Lord. 

It is better to part with everything now that is detrimental to us. 

In v 45 he mentions the foot. The foot is what supports us and he is saying that we have to give those up who “support” us than to give in to evil. 

In v 47 he mentions the eye and that symbolizes that which is most dear to us (Deut 32.10).

Now, in these verses he menions “where their worm does not die” and that has to do with the conscience (Rev 20.10; Isa 66.24). 

If one does not give up those people or things that are important to us and they keep us from entering into the salvation that the Lord has, we will be lost. It would be better to lose those things here, in this life, than to lose our souls. 

If we don’t, then in hell our consciences will “gnaw at us like a worm” and torment us, filling us with anguish over what was lost. 

The key to this whole passage is v 49 where it says “for everyone will be salted with salt.” 

This means that every follower of the Lord will have “fiery trials” to go through.

And, like the sacrifices in the Temple had to be salted with salt to be acceptable, we, too, must be salted with salt to be acceptable and a well pleasing “odor” to the Lord, so we must be salted. 

Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how are we to make it flavorable again? 

We are to have salt in ourselves,  which means we are to retain in ourselves those valuable qualities that will make us a blessing (flavorable) to others.


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