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Right Eye Causes You to Sin


Humans have five basic senses: touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste. Out of these, sight is the most important because we perceive 80% of all impressions by our eyes (https://www.zeiss. com/vision-care/us/better-vision/health-prevention/why-good- vision-is-so-important.html). Though the longing and decision to commit sin comes from our mind, the eyes might have triggered that. So, the eyes have a prominent role in committing sexual sins.

In the Bible, the eye is considered as having a leading role in causing sin. The very first sin of humanity was that committed by Eve under the influence of Satan, at the sight of the fruits of the forbidden tree – “The woman saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes, and the tree was desirable for gaining wisdom” (Gen 3:6). So, the curiosity of the eyesight resulted in desire, which in turn facilitated the decision to commit sin.

David’s series of sins related to Bathsheba started with his ogling at her taking a bath. “From the roof he saw a woman bathing; she was very beautiful” (2 Sam 11:2). If he had controlled looking at her at first sight, he could have avoided the serious sins that followed, including the assassination of Uriah. When Peter speaks of false teachers, he says, “Their eyes are full of adultery and insatiable for sin” (2 Pet 2:14). Thus, the Bible associates eyesight with adultery.

Now, why exactly did Jesus speak of using the “right eye” in particular, rather than using the left eye or both eyes? The right eye is generally the dominant eye in the case of most people. It represents the eyesight, though of course both eyes are used for normal functions except when using equipment like the
piston, the bow-and-arrow, or singular eyepiece instruments. So, the use of the right eye, like the right hand, is considered more beneficial.

That the Bible traditionally accorded a sense of superiority to the right-side organs of a person’s body is clear from God’s instruction on the installation ceremony of Aaron and his sons. “After this take the other ram, and when Aaron and his sons have laid their hands on its head, slaughter it. Some of its blood you shall take and put on the tip of Aaron’s right ear and on the tips of his sons’ right ears and on the thumbs of their right hands and the great toes of their right feet” (Ex 29:19-20). The prominence of the right eye is expressed in 1 Samuel 11:2 and Zechariah 11:17. Even if the right eye is plucked out, the person can still use the other eye for vision-related sins. So it is obvious that Jesus did not use this phrase in a literal sense, but expressed the discipline necessary to avoid temptation.

Jesus used hyperbolic language to emphasize the need for self- control in the use of the human body and its parts. Tearing out the right eye is implicit in constraining the use of the eyes. The eyesight is only a means to committing adultery, the decision per se being an act of the will. So, getting rid of one organ will not take away one’s capacity for the sin of lust. A person with one eye or a single hand can still commit sin. The usage of the measures referred to by Jesus is a means to block the root cause of sin. Immoral inclinations will happen. But we must stop the occasions that arouse them. Job had made a covenant with his eyes not to gaze upon a virgin (Job 31:1). While avoiding sin with the use of our bodily parts, we ought to engage the same for virtuous deeds.

In order to avoid eternal misery in Hell, it is better to get rid of whatever organ that might lead to it. We must sacrifice the sinful pleasures for the eternal joys of Heaven. In a positive sense, we should use both eyes to do good and to build up the kingdom of God. The salvation of our immortal soul is more important than sensual pleasures.


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