I spent a lot of time as a child thinking about this verse. I closed my eyes and touched my eyelids feeling the firm texture of my eye underneath my fingertips. Pushing my fingers gently along the outside edge. Seeing how hard I could push before it hurt. I decided I didn’t have the stomach for eye plucking.
Growing up in the Church of the Black Hats I understood that God is an angry God who believes in fire and brimstone, an eye for an eye, and the hacking off of offensive limbs. And when it’s all over there’s the lake of fire. An eternity of weeping and gnashing of teeth.
What I didn’t understand was that Jesus was not talking literally. He was trying to make a point. All of our intentions, the words we speak, and the actions we take come from one source: our heart. The God I loved would not be satisfied with the plucking out of eyes. He wants my heart, my soul, my mind.
He is a God of love and grace. And I am thankful for His forgiveness and His mercy which endures forever.
I am also thankful that He really doesn’t want me to pluck out my eyes!