Just figurative language? Jesus using metaphor to convey a point?
Submitted for your approval (I say in my best Rod Serling voice), the story of hiker Aron Ralston. In 2003, Ralston was rock climbing in Blue John Canyon in Utah when a boulder shifted, trapping his right arm underneath. For five days, Ralston rationed the little food and water he had with him, hoping for someone to either come by or come close enough to hear his voice. Realizing his options were running out, Ralston made the decision to amputate his own arm. "Better to lose one of your members", eh? (Read the whole story here)
Now, most of us don't do any serious hiking or rock climbing (though I do remember a few seminary classmates who rappelled down the side of the building during our last week at Mt. St. Mary's). What do we have in our lives that the Lord is asking us to radically "cut off"? An addiction? A vice? Old bitter feelings or a grudge we've held onto for years?
Cut it off today and walk away from it.