Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rocks and Glass Houses

John 8:1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?" 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" 11 She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more."

Jesus has been teaching the people and the leaders have been wanting to kill Him for quite some time now. They really don't like anything He has to say, they don't like the fact that He claims to be God, and that much of the negative things He is saying is directed at them. This portion of Scripture is apparently not in the earlier manuscripts, but it is in mine. What a great story.

I don't know all the intricate details of this story. I have heard it said that the leaders were setting this woman up to be found committing adultery, it is interesting that they bring her to Jesus in the morning, and put her right in the middle of the leader's circle.

I guess I can see myself as a sinner capable of committing any number of sins against God and my fellow man. It is only by God's grace that He has saved me the pain of a moment like this.

Picture it though; she is really busted. Her life, as she knows it, is over. She has committed a sin against her husband and someone else, her family will be disgraced; her life is ruined and here she stands, in front of a bunch of men who want Jesus to give them the "go-ahead" to stone her. She has no excuses; she has no plea but guilty; she has nothing but "guilty as charged" written on her.

While standing in the midst of them, does she ever even look up? Would she dare look anyone in the eye? For a little bit of pleasure, maybe even set up by these evil men, she has wrecked her life. The leaders are probably talking about her, like she isn't even there; like she is a piece of meat they are trying to decide whether they should keep or throw out. How did she fall so low?

She is someone's little girl. She was probably someone's wife. Maybe a mother. Maybe just yesterday she was just thinking about committing this sin of adultery, but she knew better, but it just took that little it of enticing and now her life will never be the same.

This could not be more true; her life really would never be the same. She came face to face with the Savior and He forgave her. When she had no righteousness of her own to claim; no excuse; no reason; no nothing but guilt; and the Gracious Savior does not condemn her. When all others are pointing the finger at her and asking for her death, Jesus says, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more."

This had to have been the biggest emotional roller coaster of her life; from guilt ridden deserving death, to "go and sin no more" in just a few minutes. What grace!

This is each one of us to some degree or another. Our sin may not be the exact same, but it is still sin deserving death. If everyone would see our sin, they would be standing around saying the same thing the leaders did to her, but we conceal it pretty well outwardly. We know how far we have gone. Even though our hearts are deceitful, deep down we know. We know we have no excuse and we are dead wrong.

BUT GOD, is one of the richest conjunctions that could ever be, Romans 5:7-8, Eph. 2:1-5. We were guilty, helpless, hopeless sinners, condemned to die without a way out, BUT GOD, for whatever reason, chose to save some that we might be heirs of His righteousness. We had nothing to bring but guilt and need and He still chose to save us and say "Neither do I condemn you".

Oh the weight of sin this takes away. We are forgiven. Hallelujah, what a Savior. Was her life changed from here on out? How could it not have been? If we have been forgiven and freed from the guilt we once knew, should our lives be different as well? For sure.

What a kind, compassionate, gracious Savior we serve. Go and sin no more.

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