“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Mark 9:47




Jesus said,

“And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out;

it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye

than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell.”


– Mark 9:47 (NRSV)






Jesus gives the basis of Christian moral teaching

on the subject of situations liable to lead to sin.

He is very explicit:

a person is obliged to avoid proximate occasions of sin,

just as he is obliged to avoid sin itself.

As God already put it in the Old Testament:

“Whoever lives in danger will perish by it.” (Sir 3:26-27)


The eternal good of our soul

is more important than any immediate self-satisfaction

and so we should always be conscious

of anything that places us in immediate danger of committing sin,

and we should be prepared to suffer so as to avoid sinning.


The apparent harshness of our Lord’s words

reflects how serious our obligation is to avoid sin.

What He says also makes it clear

that we must distance ourselves from people who are persistent in evil

and who seem to be ever-ready

to entice others to evil behaviour and erroneous beliefs.






Lord, give me the strength of character to heed your warnings

and to carefully avoid the occasion of sin.


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