Gospel Message & Recording
When we consider the valuable things in our life, what do we think about? Cars, houses, assets, these are the things that we consider as valuable; because the word “value “ in our American culture is closely associated with monetary worth, that is, money. For example, we would say, “What’s the value of this car?” Or, we would say, “What’s the value of this home?” But when we use the word “value” do we ever consider our very own lives. The bodies that we have, don’t they have value? What would be the cost of your arm, leg, or foot? The answer is simply: we can’t put a price on it. It’s priceless!
The gospel reading today, taken from Matthew 18:6-9, Christ speaks to his audience in regard to cutting of the body parts that cause them to sin. For example, if our foot causes us to sin, Jesus says, we should cut it off. If our eye causes us to sin, He says, we should pluck it out. Immediately, the reader is left with the question: “Did Jesus just say that?” Or, “Was He serious.” The question can be answered in one word: yes. Yes! Jesus was serious. But he was not being literal; rather, he was attempting to bring the listener to a point of understanding that would allow them to see that their bodies, and all the parts that come along with it, are beyond valuable—priceless—therefore, why would a person make them into instruments of sin. Further, Jesus was saying, “What would you do if you lost a body parts, or at least if there was a chance of that happening, would you sin?” So to conclude, Jesus does not want anyone to mutilate himself or herself. Rather, to deeply contemplate the value (pricelessness) of the bodies. And if such is the case, then not allowing the body to sin.
There are two things that I would like to reflect on in order to understand the idea of our bodies (and it parts) being priceless (for the glory of God).
1) Death: what if we died tomorrow? If this was the case then we would definitely attempt not to sin. We wouldn’t want to leave the world with our last actions being sinful. Rather we would attempt to be as holy as possible till our dying breath. Death puts life into perspective. It allows us to see the pricelessness of our lives and how we should spiritually take care of our bodies. We sin because we don’t respect our bodies. And so the reality of death should bring a change in our spiritual lives.
2) Losing a body part: what if we lost a body part? If this were the case we would understand the pricelessness of our leg, hand, or eyes. I remember a few years back someone had mentioned to me how he was involved in a car accident and as a result lost his vision for about a week. Thank God the person’s eye regained full sight a couple months later. The point is this: we must come to understand that we are using our priceless eyes—our bodies—as instruments of sin in this world. If that is the case, then we should attempt to repent and turn our lives over to Christ and completely submit to His will.