And if your hand offend you, cut it off: it is better for you to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell…
Just glance at what may be operated by the hands. Would you care to hold out your hands, before any number of your acquaintances, and say, "These hands have never been soiled by touching an unholy thing. They have not once written a deceiving figure or an unbecoming word. They have never held any instrument in order to accomplish a selfish and impure object." No neighbour might shrug his shoulders at your assertion; no voice might call out, "I saw you use the shaking glass of drunkenness, the cards of gambling, the jemmy of burglary!" But would their inability to accuse you be a satisfactory acquittal? Would you not, as brave and honest souls, even if no human being could say that your hands were offensive to the holy God, would you not confess they are or were? Your tongue would not utter boastful things. Why? Because you are well aware that, though you have never been a drunkard, a gambler, or a burglar, you have put aside a service of self-denial, or you have grasped in your heart at an evil enjoyment. Knowing, as you do, that wishing and planning to escape from any Christ-like duty must be a grief to the Saviour, you would not like to hear His voice announce His sentence as to all your failures; you would not like to receive the due award of what your hands have done or been thought capable of doing!
(D. G. Watt, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: