Joseph Prince makes fun of Jesus’ teachings & his reading of Matt 5:27-30 would lead you to hell – By Rev George Ong (Dated 24 Apr 2023)


Don’t miss the sound and solid expositions of 4 spiritual giants on Matthew 5:27-30


in the Appendix at the end of this article.


They are John Stott, Charles Spurgeon, DA Carson and Martyn Lloyd-Jones.


All of them taught against Joseph Prince’s interpretation of the same text.


If you stubbornly choose to idolise Joseph Prince, instead of trusting the expositions of these 4 men of God,


you have no one to blame if you find yourself in hell one day.


Last week, I wrote an article against the teachings of Joseph Prince, titled,


“Joseph Prince double-talks about his doctrines & makes Jesus a liar in the Sermon on the Mount” 


Please click on the link below to view,


Yesterday, in the Sunday sermon, Joseph Prince replied to my above article.


In this article, I am only highlighting one aspect of what Joseph Prince said in his sermon, yesterday.


The other aspects of what Prince said would be featured on this website in the coming days.


Joseph Prince is of course too proud to say that he has replied (for the benefit of his supporters who chanced upon my article) and that he has read my article.


If you don’t believe me, please ask him point blank, whether what I said was true.


(This article was also sent to Rev Dr Ngoei Foong Nghian, General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) office, and for the attention of the Executive Committee Members.)


Please click here


to view the entire video.


In a weekly Sunday sermon aired on YouTube yesterday, on 23 Apr 2023, Joseph Prince said;


Please click here to view the 50-second video:


“Sermon on the Mount, for example, if you live by the Sermon on the Mount, you will live a life that is successful, and then after you die, you will be in heaven.




Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount so that you come to the end of yourself.


There are elements in it, for example, your hand cut, if you sin, cut it off. If your eye offend you, pluck it out.


Anyone done that?


Ya, so what’s Jesus doing?


Jesus is bringing you to the highest level of the law that God meant it to be and the Pharisees brought it in a way that is manageable. Amen.


But He brought back the pristineness of the law so that everyone is left dumbfounded, Amen.


Everyone is guilty. The Bible says but God gave the law so that every mouth may be stopped and every one become guilty before God. And then we see our need for the Saviour. Can I have a good Amen?”


In another sermon, Joseph Prince said along similar lines as he had said in the sermon yesterday;


Please click to view the 1-minute video:


“You know when Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, He said, ‘Love your enemies.’ We’ve got problems loving our neighbour, let alone our enemies. 


He said, ‘If your right eye offend you, pluck it out. Throw it away from you. If your hand offend you, cut it off.’ 


Have you seen any church, anyone doing that? The church will look like a huge amputation ward.


So what did Jesus mean?


Jesus brought the law to its pristine standard, where the Pharisees has brought the law in a way that’s manageable.


Jesus says, ‘If you give the woman the eye, you have sinned.’ The Pharisees says, ‘Unless you do it physically, you have sinned.’


So Jesus is an expert at using the law to bring you to the end of yourself so that you will see your need for Jesus. Amen. 


He didn’t mean for you to pluck out your eye and cut off your hand. 


‘Oh Pastor Prince, you should have come earlier.’ Clap your stubs all together. At least, you still got your eyeball.” 


Joseph Prince said,


“We’ve got problems loving our neighbour, let alone our enemies.”


“The church will look like a huge amputation ward.”


“‘Oh Pastor Prince, you should have come earlier.’ Clap your stubs all together. At least, you still got your eyeball.”


By making those frivolous statements, what do you think Joseph Prince was up to? 


Prince was making fun of the Sermon on the Mount that was preached by Jesus.


Prince’s message is this – that what Jesus, who is God Himself, preached up on the Mount, 


is simply ridiculous, as it is impossible to be obeyed.


Prince is cynically implying that loving our enemies and the avoidance of mental adultery, both preached by the Lord Jesus, are absurd. 


With those irreverent statements, Prince is nothing but pouring scorn on the teachings of Jesus.


He is scoffing at the sermon of Jesus and making it the butt of his jokes.


By making a mockery of Jesus’ teachings,


his claim that he is Christ-centred, is one big bluff!


Is Jesus really asking people to chop off their right hand and gouge out their right eye?


If the answer to that question is a resounding no for all of us, including Joseph Prince,


then why does Prince see the need to make such silly and uncalled for statements.


The reason is that Joseph Prince has a hidden and deceptive agenda.


His real agenda is to deflect people away from the real issue.


Prince’s aim is to get people to focus on the figures of speech of the hand and the eye, 


instead of the real issue of mental adultery that Jesus was addressing.


The real issue Jesus was trying to teach is that the sin of adultery


is one that goes beyond physical adultery (the letter of the law) to mental adultery (the spirit of the law).


Jesus was warning His disciples not to follow the example of the Pharisees


who distort the law by reducing it to just the mere obedience to the letter of it


– outward actions instead of the heart’s attitude.


Jesus was trying to teach that it is not enough to keep to the letter of the law (of not committing physical adultery).


But keeping the spirit of the law (of not committing mental adultery) is the essence of what is really required.


When Jesus advises us to gouge out an eye or cut off a hand, He is employing a figure of speech known as hyperbole.


Hyperbole is an obvious exaggeration or an intentional overstatement to create a shocking effect.


Examples of hyperbole in modern speech would include statements like,


“This travelling bag of yours weighs a ton,”

“Waiting for my girlfriend is like waiting for eternity,” and

“Everyone knows my mother-in-law is right all the time.”


Anyone with a logical mind, except for Joseph Prince, would know that each of the above statements


is a hyperbole or a figure of speech, not meant to be taken literally.


Jesus’ purpose in speaking hyperbolically, that sinners should gouge out their eyes or cut off their hands, 


is to magnify in His hearers’ minds the heinous nature of sin


as sin takes people to hell (Matt 5:29-30),


and that makes sin something to avoid at all costs.


Jesus is saying that whatever is causing you to sin, you have to take drastic measures to get rid of it.


Figuratively, it is better to enter heaven with one hand than to have two hands and be thrown into hell.


The lesson in Matthew 5:27-30 was so important to Jesus


that He repeated the use of hyperbole in the same book in Matthew 18:8-9:


Matthew 18:8-9 NIV

8 “If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.”


What Jesus is saying is indeed shocking and radical, but serious and urgent (and do not forget Jesus has said many other radical and shocking things in the other passages of scriptures as well).


The message of Jesus is that, you must go to radical lengths if you have to,


so as not to place yourself in a situation where you can be tempted by the sin of mental adultery


and put yourself in danger of hell.


The Pharisees teach that only physical adultery is wrong, but Jesus says even mental adultery is wrong too.


While the Pharisees accepted the law, they distorted and twisted it to suit their agenda by just obeying the letter of it, 


but what Joseph Prince has done is even worse:


Joseph Prince totally removes the law and he excuses us from taking responsibility for the sin of mental adultery because he says it is impossible not to sin in that way 


– and hence, he is putting the multitudes of people who have been influenced by his teachings, in real danger of hell, which Jesus came to warn us of.


When Jesus came explicitly to warn us that hell is where we will end up if persistent and unrepentant mental adultery is not dealt with, 


Joseph Prince ‘deletes’ that from the word of God and instead says that Christ is not addressing that issue with the church at all.


Prince is going head-on against what Christ is teaching, as he teaches that avoiding the sin of mental adultery is impossible and offers excuses for that sin. 


Hence, he has removed the very sober warning of hell that Jesus is warning us of.


Joseph Prince is making light of the serious message that Jesus was trying to convey


by the frivolous and disrespectful way, he argues, such as,


“Have you seen any church, anyone doing that? The church will look like a huge amputation ward.”


“‘Oh Pastor Prince, you should have come earlier.’ Clap your stubs all together. At least, you still got your eyeball.” 


Why is Joseph Prince doing that?


This reason is what Jesus taught in Matthew 5:27-30 and the rest of the Sermon on the Mount 


totally contradict his Pseudo-grace doctrine that every sin, past, present, and future has all been forgiven.


And if every sin is forgiven, Joseph Prince has to ‘get rid’ of this sin of mental adultery, which can send one to hell by stating that Matthew 5:27-30 is not for the church.


I want you to see the craftiness of Joseph Prince in the way he goes about deceiving people.


He did not even attempt to explain, as I have,


that the role of the hyperbole of cutting off your hand and gouging out your eye


is in heightening the urgency of Jesus’ key message of not breaking the law of committing mental adultery.


Instead, he deceptively and deliberately mixes the hyperbole with the key lesson of mental adultery.


This is to create confusion in peoples’ minds by saying that just because it is illogical and impossible to obey the hyperbole of cutting off your hand and gouging out your eye, 


it is also illogical and impossible to obey the law of not committing mental adultery. 


Hence, Joseph Prince has completely overturned the purpose of what Jesus came to warn us of in Matthew 5:27-30 


and giving a complete opposite message from the original message of Jesus.


Has it begun to sink into your mind how evil this man, Joseph Prince is? 


He even has the audacity to ‘play such frivolous games’ with none other than Jesus, who is God Himself?


In ‘Destined to Reign’, Page 93, Joseph Prince wrote (referring to Matthew 5:27-30),


“…Jesus brought the law to its pristine standard, such that it was impossible for any man to keep.”


“Come on, Jesus said all that to bring the law back to its pristine standard, a standard that ensured that no man could keep the law.”


Can Joseph Prince enlighten us on where Jesus ever say that in Matthew 5:27-30 or the Sermon on the Mount?


Don’t ever let Prince get away with statements he makes that cannot be substantiated.


He has done that far too many times.

Press him to quote the chapter and verse for his arguments.


As a matter of fact, in context, there is nowhere in Matthew 5:27-30 or the entire Sermon on the Mount


that Jesus ever said what Joseph Prince has stated. 


Prince is importing his Pseudo-grace theology forcibly into the text. 


He is lying, pure and simple.


The fact of the matter is, in many places in the New Testament, Jesus and other scripture writers said the reverse of what Joseph Prince is stating.


Many scriptures talk about the need to keep or obey God’s laws.


Below is just a sampling:


22 and whatever we ask, we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. (1 Jn 3:22 NASB).

24 The one who keeps His commandments remains in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He remains in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. (1 Jn 3:24 NASB).


For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. (1 Jn 5:3 NASB)


3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; (1 Jn 2:3-4 NASB)


Furthermore, if obedience to God’s law was an impossible standard for man, as Joseph Prince has stated, 


why did Christ say in Matthew 5:20 (NCV),


20 “I tell you that if you are no more obedient than the teachers of the law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”


Did Jesus say that His laws are impossible for people to keep or obey as what Prince is stating?




Conversely, Jesus is stating the opposite. 


Jesus is saying that if we don’t keep or obey the law better than the Pharisees do,


we will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 


And if one doesn’t enter God’s kingdom, where does one go?




So, Joseph Prince, by his teaching that the laws in the Sermon on the Mount are impossible to be obeyed, 


is actually taking us to that God-forsaken place in the lake of fire.


Joseph Prince had inserted his own words into the mouth of Jesus and made Him say things that He didn’t.


What audacious and unholy guts this man possesses!


Only an Antichrist, not someone who is Christ-centred would ever do that. 


In fact, Jesus said the very opposite of what Joseph Prince claimed


– that He expects us to obey His laws or commandments.


Take a look at the two passages below and compare them with what Joseph Prince has said in his videos and written in his quote:


Matthew 5:21-22 NIV

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”


Matthew 5:27-30 NIV

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, 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. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, 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.”


The above two passages in Matthew 5:21-22, 27-30, are so clearly presented and easily understood that even a child could understand what they plainly mean.


Jesus taught openly that sin could drag any angry and lustful person (unrepentant anger and lust) to hell.


Yet, Joseph Prince has the unholy guts to say that Jesus does not mean what he teaches


– that Jesus is saying that since the standard of these laws is too high, it is impossible for us to obey them.


Joseph Prince has again committed the terrible sin of replacing the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:21-22, 27-30 with his own words. 


If you compare Joseph Prince’s above quote with Matthew 5:21-22, 27-30,


Joseph Prince is completely reversing what Jesus said.


This text is so clear and plain that anyone of average intelligence could understand it and come to the same conclusion


that it has nothing to do with what Joseph Prince had falsely interpreted.


Joseph Prince blatantly mocks the simple teachings of Jesus.


He trivialises the sober intention of what Jesus was trying to communicate


– about ending up in hell if anyone disobeys this command about lust and anger.


Prince totally sweeps away the very serious warning of Jesus


that failure to do what Jesus said would result in being thrown into hell (Matt 5:29-30).


How can people still believe that Joseph Prince is Christ-centred 


when he treats the teachings of Christ with such utter contempt?


Sure, it isn’t easy to obey this commandment in Matthew 5:27-30, or many other commandments in the New Testament for that matter. 


Christ has not come to make Christianity easy and comfortable, but to make the impossible possible. 


If we fail and stumble, and we will,


God’s matchless grace is more than sufficient to forgive us if we confess and repent.


If we confess and repent of our sins, we will receive forgiveness from God


for God is indeed an ever-gracious and ever-forgiving God. 


His bountiful grace is able to empower us in and through our weaknesses


and with the enablement of the Holy Spirit gives us the victory over the sins of our minds.


But if you listen to Joseph Prince and believe that it is impossible for this command to be obeyed and refuse to obey, 


hell is the place that Jesus said you would go to.


If Joseph Prince’s teaching can lead one to hell,


how can he not be a heretic?


How can he not be a ravenous wolf in shepherd’s clothing?


Christ’s teachings have always been consistent.


He places a higher priority on the inside rather than on what is outside of us because what is inside of us is the true and real us.


In Mark 7:20-23 as it is in Matthew 5:27-30 the text in question, Christ teaches that it is the inside of a man that defiles him: 


Mark 7:20-23 ISV

20 Then he continued, “It’s what comes out of a person that makes a person unclean, 21 because it’s from within, from the human heart, that evil thoughts come, as well as sexual immorality, stealing, murder, 22 adultery, greed, wickedness, cheating, shameless lust, envy, slander, arrogance, and foolishness. 23 All these things come from inside and make a person unclean.”


The Apostles Paul, Peter and John’s writings and the epistle of James in the New Testament on lusts


are also in line with the teachings of Christ:


James 1:14 NASB

14 “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.”


James 4:2 NASB

2 “You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.”


1 Peter 2:11 NASB

11 “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.”


1 Peter 4:3 NIV

3 “For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do – living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.”


2 Peter 2:10 KJV

10 “But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.”


2 Peter 2:18 NIV

18 “For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.”


1 John 2:16 NIV

16 “For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world.”


Romans 1:26 NIV

26 “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful 



Romans 13:14 NASB

14 “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.”


1 Corinthians 10:6 MEV

6 “Now these things were our examples to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they lusted.”


Galatians 5:16 NKJV

16 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”


Ephesians 2:3 NASB

3 “Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”


Colossians 3:5 NIV

5 “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”


1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 NIV

3 “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God.”


Does Joseph Prince know that Paul, like Jesus, also taught against the sin of lust?


Prince ought to be brave and tell his mentor, Paul, that he was wrong in bringing up the issue of lust in the above New Testament passages because it is an impossible law for us to keep.


Joseph Prince should never shame the name of Paul by claiming he is his mentor!


Paul would be ashamed to call Prince as his mentee, as Prince not only teaches against Jesus but also against Paul himself on the issue of lust.


Since I have proven that the subject of lust is not only a concern of Jesus


but also that of Paul and many other New Testament writers,


what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 5:27-30


isn’t an Old Testament law that is impossible obey 


as Prince has lied to us, but a New Testament truth.


Joseph Prince needs to tell us whether Jesus was joking when He said,


“And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” (Matt 5:22)


“It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” (Matt 5:29)


“It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” (Matt 5:30)


For Prince to be right in his view on the issue,


he would have to prove that Jesus was just joking in the above passages,


or that Jesus didn’t really mean what He said in Matthew 5:22,29,30


– which is an impossibility!


One must ask the question,

if Jesus didn’t mean what He said,


why did Jesus talk about hell three times within just eight verses?


It is precisely because Jesus was utterly serious


that hell would be the place that those who fail to pay heed to His warning about anger and lust would end up in. 


And yet, Prince has the unholy audacity to undo what Jesus came to warn us of, completely.


Joseph Prince is concocting a blatant lie in teaching that it is impossible to obey God’s laws 


when Prophet Ezekiel, Apostle Paul and Apostle John


have all affirmed that it is absolutely possible through the Spirit.” (Ezek 36:26-27; 1 Jn 5:2-3; Rom 8:4):


Ezekiel 36:26-27 GNT

26 “I will give you a new heart and a new mind. I will take away your stubborn heart of stone and give you an obedient heart. 27 I will put my spirit in you and will see to it that you follow my laws and keep all the commands I have given you.”


Ezekiel 36:26-27 TLB

26 “And I will give you a new heart – I will give you new and right desires – and put a new spirit within you. I will take out your stony hearts of sin and give you new hearts of love. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you so that you will obey my laws and do whatever I command.”


Please note that though Ezekiel 36:26-27 is an Old Testament text,


it is speaking about the New Covenant (and what would happen in the New Covenant),


which has already been prophesied in the Old Testament.


1 John 5:2-3 CEV

2 “If we love and obey God, we know that we will love his children. We show our love for God by obeying his commandments, and they are not hard to follow.”


1 John 5:2-3 WE

2 “This is how we know we love God’s children. We love God and we obey his laws. We show that we love God when we obey his laws. His laws are not hard to obey.”


Romans 8:4 CEV

4 “He did this, so that we would do what the Law commands by obeying the Spirit instead of our own desires.”


Romans 8:4 TLB

“So now we can obey God’s laws if we follow after the Holy Spirit and no longer obey the old evil nature within us.”


When you have one prophet of God (Ezekiel) and two apostles of Christ (Paul and John)


who totally contradicted Joseph Prince on his teaching that it is impossible to obey God’s laws, 


what more evidence do you want before you can be convinced that Prince is a false prophet and a liar? (Ezek 36:26-27, 1 Jn 5:2-3, Rom 8:4)?


And if you continue to stubbornly trust this charlatan (Joseph Prince) and believe that Matthew 5:27-30 is an impossible law to be obeyed, 


hell is where you would end up, simply because the Lord Jesus said you would.


If Joseph Prince can lead people to hell, 


how can he not be a heretic?


One final point that needs to be clarified is that this passage in Matthew 5:27-30


does not mean that a Christian who lusts, is irreversibly bound for hell,


since Jesus equates lust with adultery and since Paul teaches that no adulterer will inherit God’s kingdom (Matt 5:28; 1 Cor 6:9-10).


The plain fact is that there is no scripture that teaches that the moment a Christian lusts, or when he or she commits adultery,


he or she is bound for hell.


It also does not mean, like Joseph Prince has often falsely accused his critics of, 


that if a believer were to die one second after his sin of having an immoral thought,


even though he does not commit such sins habitually,


God would cast him into hell.


When Jesus warns that mental adultery places one in danger of hell


and when Paul warns that no adulterer will inherit God’s kingdom (Matt 5:27-30; 1 Cor 6:9-10), 


they are talking about the future, not immediate consequences.


To claim, based on the warnings of Jesus and Paul,


that any Christian who lusts or commits adultery,


is irreversibly bound for hell,


is not only unwarranted but also unbiblical.


The truth is, the Christian who commits adultery, whether it be physical or mental, places his future, ultimate salvation in jeopardy.


The Holy Spirit, who indwells him, however, does not abandon him, but instead convicts him to bring him to repentance, a wonderful manifestation of God’s wondrous grace.


On the other hand, would you, as a sensible believer, want to take any risk to prolong the sin that has engulfed you without repenting at the earliest opportunity, and gamble away your eternity?


In fact, by procrastinating to repent time and again, your heart may become so hardened that it may become impossible for you to repent.


You are also not God, and hence, you do not know when your last day on earth is. 


So, the fine and delicate balance


between the holiness and grace of God


must be maintained in a healthy tension,


so that we don’t stray into an extremist and unbiblical position.


Rev George Ong 




Let me share with you the exposition of Matthew 5:27-30


by 4 spiritual giants, who are internationally known, highly competent and well-regarded teachers of the word.


They are John Stott, Charles Spurgeon, DA Carson and Martyn Lloyd-Jones.


As you read their exposition, you will never get the idea that they are propounding what Joseph Prince has postured – that


“…Jesus brought the law to its pristine standard, such that it was impossible for any man to keep.”


“Come on, Jesus said all that to bring the law back to its pristine standard, a standard that ensured that no man could keep the law.”


These 4 esteemed Bible Teachers expound on the passage as it is, and unfold the plain meaning of the text,


without resorting to twisting it as Joseph Prince has done.


John Stott, in ‘The Message of the Sermon on the Mount,’ and expounding on Matthew 5:27-30, wrote:


“The command to get rid of troublesome eyes, hands and feet is an example of our Lord’s use of dramatic figures of speech.


What he was advocating was not a literal physical self-maiming, but a ruthless moral self-denial.


Not mutilation but mortification is the path of holiness he taught, and ‘mortification’ or ‘taking up the cross’ to follow Christ means to reject sinful practices so resolutely that we die to them or put them to death.”


“Jesus was quite clear about it.


It is better to lose one member and enter life maimed, he said, than to retain our whole body and go to hell.


That is to say, it is better to forgo some experiences this life offers in order to enter the life which is life indeed; it is better to accept some cultural amputation in this world than risk final destruction in the next.


Of course, this teaching runs clean counter to modern standards of permissiveness.


It is based on the principle that eternity is more important than time and purity than culture, and that any sacrifice is worthwhile in this life if it is necessary to ensure our entry into the next.


We have to decide, quite simply, whether to live for this world or the next, whether to follow the crowd or Jesus Christ.”


Charles Spurgeon, in ‘Matthew’s commentary’ and expounding on Matthew 5:27-30, wrote:


27, 28. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.


“In this case our King again sets aside the glosses of men upon the commands of God, and makes the law to be seen in its vast spiritual breadth.


Whereas tradition had confined the prohibition to an overt act of unchastity, the King shows that it forbade the unclean desires of the heart.


Here the divine law is shown to refer, not only to the act of criminal conversation, but even to the desire, imagination, or passion which would suggest such an infamy.


What a King is ours, who stretches his scepter over the realm of our inward lusts! How sovereignly he puts it:


“But I say unto you”!


Who but a divine being has authority to speak in this fashion?


His word is law.


So it ought to be, seeing he touches vice at the fountain-head, and forbids uncleanness in the heart.


If sin were not allowed in the mind, it would never be made manifest in the body: this, therefore, is a very effectual way of dealing with them.


But how searching, how condemning! Irregular looks, unchaste desires, and strong passions are of the very essence of adultery; and who can claim a lifelong freedom from them?


Yet these are the things which defile a man.


Lord, purge them out of my nature, and make me pure within.


29. And if thy right eye, offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.


That which is the cause of sin is to be given up as well as the sin itself.


It is not sinful to have an eye, or to cultivate keen perception; but if the eye of speculative knowledge leads us to offend by intellectual sin, it becomes the cause of evil, and must be mortified.


Anything, however harmless, which leads me to do, or think, or feel wrongly? I am to get rid of as much as if it were in itself an evil.


Though to have done with it would involve deprivation, yet must it be dispensed with, since even a serious loss in one direction is far better than the losing of the whole man.


Better a blind saint than a quick-sighted sinner.


If abstaining from alcohol caused weakness of body, it would be better to be weak, than to be strong and fall into drunkenness.


Since vain speculations and reasonings land men in unbelief, we will have none of them.


To “be cast into hell” is too great a risk to run, merely to indulge the evil eye of lust or curiosity.


30. And if thy right hand offend thee, cat it off, and cast it from thee: for it is, profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.


The cause of offense may be rather active as the hand than intellectual as the eye; but we had better be hindered in our work than drawn aside into temptation.


The most dexterous hand must not be spared if it encourages us in doing evil.


It is not because a certain thing may make us clever and successful, that therefore we are to allow it: if it should prove to be the frequent cause of our falling into sin, we must have done with it, and place ourselves at a disadvantage for our life-work, rather than ruin our whole being by sin.


Holiness is to be our first object: everything else must take a very secondary place.


Right eyes and right hands are no longer right if they lead us wrong.


Even hands and eyes must go, that we may not offend our God by them.


Yet, let no man read this literally, and therefore mutilate his body, as some foolish fanatics have done.


The real meaning is clear enough.


Lord, I love thee better than my, eyes and hands: let me never demur for a moment to the giving up of all for thee!”


Charles Spurgeon, in ‘Commentary of the New Testament’ and expounding on Matthew 18:8-9, wrote:


8, 9. Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.


And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.


“Here our Lord repeats a passage from the Sermon on the Mount. (Chapter 5:29, 30.)


Why should he not?


Great lessons need to be often taught; especially lessons which involve painful self-denial.


It is well when at the close of a man’s ministry he can preach the same sermon as at the beginning. Some in these days change continually; Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and for ever.


Temptations and incitements to sin are so dangerous that, if we find them in ourselves, we must at any cost be rid of the causes of them.


If escape from these temptations should cause us to be like men who are halt or maimed, or have only one eye, the loss will be of small consequence so long as we enter into life.


Better to miss culture through a rigid Puritanism, than to gain all the polish and accomplishments of the age at the expense of our spiritual health.


Though at our entrance into the divine life we should seem to have been largely losers by renouncing habits or possessions which we felt bound to quit, yet we shall be real gainers.


Our main concern should be to enter into life; and if this should coat us skill of hand, nimbleness of foot, and refinement of vision, as it may, we must cheerfully deny ourselves that we may possess eternal life.


To remain in sin and retain all our advantages and capacities will be an awful loss when we are cast into hell fire, which is the sure portion of all who persevere in sinning.


A lame, maimed, half-blinded saint is, even on earth, better than a sinner with every faculty fully developed.


It is not necessary that hand, or foot, or eye should make us stumble; but if they do, the surgical process is short, sharp, decisive — Cut them off; and cast them from thee, or, pluck it out, and cast it from thee.


The half-educated, timid, simpleminded believer, who, to escape the snares of false science, worldly cunning, and courtly pride, has cut himself off from what men call “advantages”, will, in the end, prove to have been far wiser than those who risk their souls for the sake of what worldlings imagine to be necessary to human perfecting.


The man who believes God, and so is set down as losing his critical eye, is a wiser person than he who by double acumen doubts himself into hell.


Two hands, two feet, and two eyes will be of small advantage if cast into everlasting fire.


Let the reader note that the terrible terms here employed are not the creation of the dark dreams of mediaeval times, but are the words of the loving Jesus.”


DA Carson, in ‘Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount and His Confrontation with the World: A Study of Matthew 5-10’ and expounding on Matthew 5:27-30, wrote:


“What we require is the attitude described by Jesus in 5:29f.:


“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.”


The eye is chosen because it has looked and lusted; the hand is chosen, probably because adultery, even mental adultery, is a kind of theft.


Some have taken this language literally. Origen (c. 195–254) castrated himself so that he would not be tempted.


But that, I think, quite misses Jesus’s point, and the absolute cast of Jesus’s preaching noticed earlier; for if I gouged out my right eye because it had looked and lusted, would not my left do as well? And if I blinded myself, might I not lust anyway, and mentally gaze at forbidden things?


What then does Jesus mean?


Just this: we are to deal drastically with sin.


We must not pamper it, flirt with it, enjoy nibbling a little of it around the edges.


We are to hate it, crush it, dig it out.


“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexually immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:5).


Paul adds, “Because of these, the wrath of God is coming” (Col. 3:6) – just as Jesus in Matthew 5:29f. Threatens with hell all those who will not deal drastically with sin.


Our generation treats sin lightly.


Sin in our society is better thought of as aberration, or as illness.


It is to be treated, not condemned and repented of; and it must not be suppressed for fear of psychological damage.


I am painfully aware how sin ensnares and entangles and produces pathetic victims; but the victims are not passive victims.


In Jesus’s teaching, sin leads to hell.


And that is the ultimate reason why sin must be taken seriously.”


Martyn Lloyd-Jones, in ‘Studies in the Sermon on the Mount,’ and expounding on Matthew 5:27-30, said:


“What is the true view?


It is to be found in many places in the New Testament.


Take, for instance, Romans viii. 13 where Paul says:


‘For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.’


And in i Corinthians ix. 27 he expresses it thus:


‘I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.’


What does he mean?


Well, this is what the authorities on the Greek words tell us. He punches his body and knocks it about until it is black and blue in order to keep it down.


That is the mortification of the body.


In Romans xiii. 14, he says:


‘Make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.’


Now these are things which we must do.


Instead of, ‘Let go and let God’, or ‘Receive this marvellous experience and then you will have nothing to do’,


we are rather told, ‘Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth’ (Col. iii. 5).


That is the apostle’s teaching.


Mortify through the Spirit the deeds of the body. Keep under the body.


And our Lord says: ‘If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off.’


It is the same principle everywhere. These are things which we must do.


What does it mean?


Again, I am merely going to give some indication of the principles.


First, we must never ‘feed the flesh’. ‘Make not provision for the flesh,’ says Paul, ‘to fulfil the lusts thereof.’


There is a fire within you; never bring any oil anywhere near it, because if you do there will be a flame, and there will be trouble.”


“… Our Lord’s reply is that, for the sake of your soul, you had better be an ignoramus, if you know it does harm to know these things. Even the most valued thing must be sacrificed.”


“Finally, these considerations must have brought us to see our absolute need of the Holy Spirit.


You and I have to do these things.


Yes, but we need the power and the help that the Holy Spirit alone can give us.


Paul put it like this: ‘If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body’.


The Holy Spirit’s power will be given to you. He has been given if you are a Christian. He is in you, He is working in you `both to will and to do of his good pleasure’.


If we realize the task we have to do, and long to do it, and are concerned about this purification; if we start with this process of mortification, He will empower us.


That is the promise. So we must not do those things which we know to be wrong: we act as empowered by Him.


Here it is all in one phrase: ‘Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.’


The two sides are absolutely essential.


If we try to mortify the flesh alone, in our own strength and power, we shall produce an utterly false type of sanctification which is not really sanctification at all.


But if we realize the power and the true nature of sin; if we realize the awful grip it has on man, and its polluting effect; then we shall realize that we are poor in spirit and utterly feeble, and we shall plead constantly for that power which the Holy Spirit alone can give us.


And with this power we shall proceed to ‘pluck out the eye’ and ‘cut off the hand’, ‘mortify the flesh’, and thus deal with the problem.


In the meantime time, He is still working in us and we shall go on until finally we shall see Him face to face, and stand in His presence faultless and blameless, without spot and without rebuke.”