As a parent, when my children were young and they were doing something that they should not have been doing, perhaps something disruptive or even dangerous for them to do, I would yell, "Cut it out!" In the text Jesus doesn't tell them to "cut it out," but He did say to "cut it off," which essentially meant the same thing, "Stop it, and stop it now or face the consequences." This is strong warning for everyone to think about their actions and their lifestyles.
The Omission that Blocks Admission
Our verse is something of a summation of everything he has previously written. The Greek word oun, translated “therefore,” is a way of saying, “In light of everything I’ve said to this point, if you know to do good and you don’t do it, then to you … it is sin.” And we don’t want to be guilty of sin because apostle Paul warned that the “wages of sin is death” (Ro 6:23). Yet the Bible teaches that sin is both doing the wrong thing, and also refusing to do the right thing we knew we should have done.
Fight Hard for the Faith
A common misconception of Christians is we must always be non-confrontational and passive … no matter what. Even within the Christian community there is a rather pervasive view that believers should always be smiling and agreeable while conceding to others in our attempt to keep the peace. It is true that we are called be peacemakers, ministers of reconciliation and ambassadors of Christ (2 Co 5:19-20), yet the example of Jesus clearing the temple with a whip, along with various militant metaphors employed in the epistles, demonstrate that there are, in fact, times when we must fight for what we believe. Jesus Himself said that “from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” (Mt 11:12).
The Choice: Lawlessness or Righteousness
It may be that God is sending the church into our prayer closets for a “time-out,” so that after we have thought about what we have done, we can come out restored, refreshed, revived and empowered and then come together again as the people of God walking, talking, witnessing and testifying in the power of the Holy Spirit. I believe that if we will yield our will to God’s will, and tarry in His presence, this could be our personal Pentecost, our Upper Room moment, our finest hour, so that we come back together in the power and anointing of God with renewed purpose and focus in a lost and dying world.