There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.…
If seven robbers were to get into a man's house, even though six of them were discovered and made prisoners, and sent off to jail, yet, as long as the seventh was known to be concealed in some secret corner, the master of the house could not well feel himself out of danger. Or, if a bird has fallen into a snare, and is only caught by a single claw; or, if any animal has been caught in a trap, though it should be only by the leg, yet they are both in as much danger as if their whole bodies were entrapped. Thus it is that certain destruction awaits us, unless all sin, even the very least, be repented of. Pharaoh, after having been smitten with many plagues, at last consented to let the people go, provided they left their sheep and cattle behind them. But this would not satisfy Moses. He, acting for God, says, "All the flocks and herds must go along with us; not a hoof shall be left." So Satan, like Pharaoh, would keep some sin in us as a pledge of our returning to him again; and even though sin be taken away, he would wish the occasion of sin to remain. For instance, he might say, "Leave off gaming; but still there is no occasion to burn the cards and throw away the dice." "You must not do your enemy any injury, but there is no occasion for you to love him." But God's language is of a different sort. He says that the occasion of sin, though it be dear as a right hand, must be cut off; if we retain an eye for Satan to put his hook into, he will be sure to insinuate himself, and the latter end may be worse than the beginning.
(F. F. Trench.)
Parallel VersesKJV: There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.