1. Exposition

What snare can there be in hand-foot-eye?

Mark 9:43–48 (ESV)

43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell,to the unquenchable fire.

When asking what snare there can be in hand-foot-eye, we have to keep in mind the situation wherein the teaching takes place (a desire for honour in a time of suffering) and the nature of the threat (falling into sin by neglecting others). We think then of sins of hand-foot-eye that cause others to stumble (and thereby also the apostle himself). The discussion was about the sin of ambition and pride. The hand wants to rule; the foot wants to be ahead of others; the eye is envious! Hand, foot, and eye pressed on in the discussion on the way. It seemed that they brought the disciples to the first place but in fact they threaten them with stumbling and falling because their hands, feet, and eyes now hastened to rule over others: they approach the one who casts out devils, lay their hand on him, and forbid with an envious eye his practice. Here the beginning of a desire for honour leads directly to a lust for power, and this lust for power “prevents, forbids,” whereas Jesus is about “helping, receiving.”1