Set free by Jesus Himself

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John 8

Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

 

This is one of the most merciful and grace-filled events of the Bible.  Yes, the men were mean, judgmental, and cruel to use a woman to try to get Jesus to make a wrong decision for which they could destroy Him.  Yes, they should have brought the man also to make the accusations fair.  But the fact that the woman was caught in the act of adultery made her guilty of breaking God’s law!  She was in the wrong and deserved the wrath of God and the full treatment of the Law of God, which was that she should be stoned to death.  The Law had been broken and the transgressor was tossed at Jesus’ feet where He was called to be the voice of God in this court.

Had Jesus said, “Take her out and stone her and get the man on the way.”  He would have been just in His verdict.   Instead, Jesus looked at the men who brought her, whose motives were far from pure, and made a request from them, “The ones of you without sin throw the first stone at this sinful woman.”  Jesus knew that these men, while haters of Him, were faithful to the Law.  He knew that none of them were without sin and that in honesty; none of them could pick up stones to take her life from her.

When we are faced with judgmental situations where the one we are judging is clearly in the wrong, let us be careful about how many stones we throw.  Let’s heed Jesus’ request and show honesty in accusation.

Once the men were gone, Jesus then spoke to the woman who was pulling a bed sheet around her naked body, shamed beyond shame by the treatment she had just publicly received.  Jesus’ first words were, “Woman, where are your accusers?”  As she looks up, maybe for the first time, she sees that they are all gone and responds that they are gone.  In great mercy and compassion Jesus says directly to her, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin (like this) no more.”  Jesus does not hold the woman’s adultery against her and sends her home released from her condemnation.  She gathers the sheet around her and hurries away thankful for having been brought to Jesus.  Her burden was lifted, her shame lessened, Jesus set her free.

What have you done?  How has sin separated you from Jesus?  Do you think His attitude toward you is going to be different than it was toward this woman in need of grace?  Regardless of who in this life accuses you, Jesus wants to show you grace and set you free.

 

God gave us great weather yesterday and our church picnic was a blast!  The food was abundant and delicious.  Patty brought a friend from work with her four children and I had fun making sure the boys got their tummy’s full.  We played volleyball, bocce ball (thanks to Dennis for bringing this game), canoed, (thanks to Dave for bringing his canoe which Max and Rob flipped – oops), we sang, fellowshipped and ate some more. And, for the first time in awhile, we did not get rained on.  I really love our church.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

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