Where’s the Grace?
At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:2-11, NIV).
We have all most likely heard the phrase, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, as recorded in the gospel of John. We hear it, but how well do we really apply it? When we see others who are different from us, whom we don’t really understand, especially when the culture of the other person does not line up with our moral code, what happens in our mind? Do we start to think of them as a lower class then ourselves? Do we disassociate with them so that we might not be considered as one of them? From my experience, this type of thinking happens too often.
When the Pharisees brought this adulteress woman to Jesus, how do you think the Pharisees and the people, whom were ready execute her, saw this woman? How do you think Jesus saw this woman? I believe the Pharisees, whom Jesus often referred to as hypocrites, saw this woman as a dog, not a human. They saw this as an opportunity to tear the woman down, entrap Jesus, and be entertained by the murderous acts they had planned for this woman. She was no more than a “dog” to them because of her mistake.
Jesus obviously saw past this woman’s sin and saw a child of His. He showed an enormous amount of grace and love. This woman, who was being condemned to die on the spot, came into an encounter with the holy Son of God. Jesus had every right to condemn her for her sins, yet he did not. He said, “neither do I condemn you”. He forgave her on the spot! He then instructed her to leave her life of sin.
Jesus demonstrated the grace to this woman that we receive daily from Him. Since my sins were forgiven in the same manner, who am I to judge, let alone condemn another? This is the heart of Christ that anyone who claims to be a Christian must pursue. When you encounter the next person or group of people whom you don’t understand, will you show the true Jesus? Will you be the one to extend the grace of God that you have received or will you be quick to judge and condemn, as the Pharisees were ready to do?
May God use you as an example to others of the unconditional love and grace that comes from Him.
Be blessed in all you do!
Your brother in Christ,