Why does Jesus paint this shocking picture [in Matthew 18:9]? I believe He wants us to take radical steps, to do whatever is necessary to deal with sexual temptation.
Now, the hand and eye are not the causes of sin. A blind man can still lust and a man without a hand can still steal. But the eye is a means of access for both godly and ungodly input. And the hand is a means of performing righteous or sinful acts. We must therefore govern what the eye looks at and the hand does.
If we take Jesus seriously, we need to think far more radically about sexual purity. The battle is too intense, and the stakes are too high to approach purity casually or gradually.
Some men fall into mental adultery through lingerie ads, billboards, women joggers in tight pants, women with low cut blouses or short skirts, cheerleaders or dancers, movies, TV shows, and commercials of the beer-and-bikini variety. Some men’s weakness is the Sunday newspaper’s ad inserts or nearly any magazine.
So, stop looking. And then stop putting yourself in the position to look!
It’s a sin to deliberately put ourselves in a position where we’ll likely commit sin. Whether it’s the lingerie department, the swimming pool, or the workout room at an athletic club - if it trips you up, stay away from it.
Sound drastic? Compare it to gouging out an eye or cutting off a hand!
Taken from "Jesus, the Radical" by Discover the Book Ministries.