One of the greatest parts of Jesus ministry was His ability to give us glimpses of almighty God. The most real encounter we see is probably the story of His encounter with the religious leaders and the adulteress woman. After a night of prayer, Jesus is back with the disciples and others who gathered for a day of teaching, when, all at once, an angry mob appears dragging a frightened woman.
The leader of the mob, a religious leader, confronts the Lord and says that the woman was caught in adultery and the Torah says she should be put to death. In front of His disciples and the crowd, the leader asks the “no win” question. What should we do Jesus! (Implying of course, since you are so smart!!!)
Jesus sits a bit and lets the question hang in the air. The religious leaders smile. They know they have Him…Then, as beautiful as a sunrise bursting over a lovely ocean morning, Jesus replies, “Fine! Why doesn’t the one of you without sin throw the first deadly stone!” The air grows explosive with a palpable silence as the accusers slowly file away. Then Jesus gently lifts the woman, faces her and asks, “Where are your accusers?” She sees in the midst of her fear and guilt that they were gone. She replies that there were none. Jesus then redeems her and restores her by saying “I do not accuse you either, go and sin no more!”
We are without a doubt a bunch of sinful people. In our daily life, we either are the accusers or the woman. In those daily encounters with life, Jesus replays that scenario with us, and we see the masterful mix of grace and justice. We often judge others by their words and deeds, knowing all the while, we are the worst of sinners. Other times, we are caught dead to rights in dishonoring God. We sit naked and fearful of the condemnation that should follow. As in the story, the Lord allows the question to linger and then sends us on our way, forgiven but committed to a life of following Him. In that commitment, our journey displays that incredible mix of grace and justice the baby in a manger gave us as a snapshot of the love of our Heavenly Father.
God Bless You
3 [[They went each to his own house, 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.”