Mark 9 contains a perplexing section of scripture for most people. It literally instructs us to mutilate our bodies. What a brutal and disturbing command? The key to understanding this section is a beautiful figure of speech, hyperbole or exaggeration.
42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
43 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:
If your hand offends you then cut it off. What does that mean? In the orient, the hand represents the things that your do because we use our hands to work. This means to stop doing offensive things.
44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
45 And if thy foot offends thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
The foot transports us to different places. Stop going to offensive places.
46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
47 And if thine eye offends thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
The eye is one of the gates to the mind which is where thinking occurs. Therefore, stop thinking about offensive things. Guard your heart.
You can clearly see how these exaggerations greatly emphasize our need to be cautious about what we do, where we go, and what we think. This is how we control the most destructive organ in our bodies – the tongue.