“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
I love the hyperbolic nature of this passage. Overstating and stretching a bit Jesus speaks in such a way that draws us in and helps us to understand the serious nature of our actions. He speaks in such extremes not to espouse theology but to point to the destructive results of sin. Interesting how the context of his words is causing believers to sin. Perhaps the things that bring sin into our lives affect others more than we want to admit that they do.
The Lord's references to "salt" are so compelling. Interesting how he speaks of being "salted with fire". Makes me think about the way that the Apostle Peter speaks of how the the genuineness of our precious faith is tested by fire. Perhaps faith is not really genuine if it is not brought to a place where we lay everything on a fiery altar. Our hands, our feet and our entire lives offered to an all consuming God as a salted and living sacrifice.
Here I am Lord. Send me. Use me.