Wednesday, March 07, 2007

John 8: 1-11

Just in case you wondered... this is who Jesus is...
Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and Pharisees brought a woman they had caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
4 "Teacher," they said to Jesus, "this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?"
6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, "All right, stone her. But let those who have never sinned throw the first stones!" 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to her, "Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?"
11 "No, Lord," she said.
And Jesus said, "Neither do I. Go and sin no more."
I find this story profound. This is such a look into the heart of God for all of us. He's not up there pointing His cosmic finger at us and shaming us for our downfall. He is lifting us up saying, "Where is your accuser? I'm not accusing you. Don't do that anymore because it will just hurt you."
Jesus was compassionate and tender with those who knew they were fallen. He loved them and tried to help them go the right direction. Seems to me the only people He could not stand were the Pharisees. They were the holier than thou know it alls who thought they were better than everyone. Somehow their sins weren't as big or some hogwash like that. Sin is sin... each action has its' own natural consequences. My exasperated fussing at my children is just as much sin as the druggie who beat his wife last night. The fact that the consequences are more severe in one case does not make the sin aspect any different. To think we are above that is arrogance- pure and simple. Jesus has compassion for my falleness and willingness to change. He has very little tolerance for me thinking I am better than someone else.
You notice in the story that the older men leave first. I figure they had more years on them... a little less arogance. They "got" it. They knew what Jesus was saying. We have all fallen. Why do we want to stone each other? Why not pick each other up and have some grace.
Let's try to remember to have the grace for ourselves that God has for us. All He wants is willing hearts- ready to learn. Let's remember to keep condemnation of people off the table. Let's just point them toward God. He's the only one who could have thrown that stone and He chose not to do it.


The McKenzie Crew said...

What led to this story touching you this way ---I a just curious??

I loved it - good teaching!!

Angel said...

Hmmm... I don't really know. You know I have heard this story all my life. I am doing the bible study at church on the book of John. You know how at different stages of life things hit you differently. Well, I guess studying Jesus' life has been hitting me differently now. I think maybe because I have such a heart for the underdogs. :0) I think Jesus did too!! I love that. It's always made me CRAZY to see churches get all "religious" and legalistic. That is NOT what Jesus was about. That's what the pharisees were about. Anyway.. I guess what I am trying to say is that it confirms to me God's character. This story shows me that Jesus is who I have believed Him to be and not the yuck that so many churches spew. It's so important to me that people not think that the pharisees in our world have it right. I just hope that people know who He really is. :0) Angel

A Special Family said...

You are a wonderful teacher and very inspirational.
Thank You!