Cut it Off!

Lou Lotz

READ : Mark 9:42-50

If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. (v. 45)

“If your foot causes you to stumble, cut if off.” Better to hobble to heaven than to dance in hell. The verse is not meant to be taken literally. But we had better take it seriously.

With powerful and startling language Jesus says that the kingdom is such a great prize, so immeasurable a gain, that anything which might prevent us from claiming it should be chopped out of our lives. If something gets in the way between you and the kingdom, Jesus says, “Cut it off.” Get rid of it.

We can all agree that bad habits and bad deeds should be cut out of our lives. But Jesus talks about cutting off good and necessary things: a hand, a foot, an eye. Jesus is talking about sacrificing a lesser good for a larger good.

Patriotism is a good thing. But if love of country eclipses love of the kingdom, Jesus says, “Cut it off.” Prosperity is a good thing, but when accumulating wealth becomes an end in itself instead of a means of glorifying God, Jesus says, “Cut it off.”

The good is the enemy of the best. Things not necessarily bad in themselves can become bad when they get between you and the kingdom.


Dear God, rid my life of anything that would impede my devotion to you. Amen.