Thursday, September 26, 2019

It's About Grace

The Scribes and Pharisees brought a woman arrested for adultery. They set her in the midst and said to Him: "Teacher, this woman was arrested as she was committing adultery-in the very act. In the law Moses enjoined us to stone women like this. What do you say about her?" They were testing Him when they said this, so that they might have some ground on which to accuse Him.   John 8:3-6a

There was a woman who was a sinner of the worst kind.  She was looked down upon by all society.  No one valued her or desired her in the way she wanted to be valued or desired.  No one would stand up for her or treasure her. She was an adulterous woman, and in that day, the punishment was death. She was a sinner, and she was caught in her sin.  
This woman lived during the days Jesus walked on this earth.  She was brought before Jesus by some Scribes and Pharisees of the day so they could trap Him and discredit Him.  They knew that if Jesus said she should die, He would no longer be the “Friend of Sinners”.  He would lose forever the name He had gained for love and for mercy. He would also violate Roman law prohibiting Jews to bring the death sentence. If He said she should be forgiven and pardoned, they would say He was teaching men to break the law of Moses and condoning people who commit adultery.  
These men sought to trap Jesus, but He turned it back on them. He stooped down and began to write something in the sand.  The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly what He wrote, but most believe it was the sins of the men who stood in judgement of this woman.  Then Jesus said, " Let the man among you who is without sin be the first to cast a stone at her.".  Not one man leaned down to pick up a stone, but instead, they all walked away.  No one condemned her.  Jesus was left alone with the woman and says to her, Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She said: " No one, sir." Jesus said: " I am not going to pass judgment on you either. Go, and from now on, sin no more."  
The important thing about this story that is overlooked is that this story is not really about this sinful woman.  It’s about Jesus and His grace and forgiveness.  It had to be a horrible feeling to be pulled out of a sinful act and put on display in front of everyone, with your most embarrassing secret yelled out for all to hear.  But these men didn’t really care about that woman or even that she was breaking the law.  They were seeking to discredit Jesus, but instead He turns it into a forgiveness fest.  He quietly points out that none of them are without sin, and He doesn’t condemn them loudly for all to hear.  He silently writes them in the dirt, bringing conviction. 
Jesus does the same thing for you and me.  He silently writes on our hearts bringing conviction in us and then He forgives with complete grace and forgiveness, just like He did for this woman.  It was never about her sin.  It was about His grace.  It is never about our sin either.  It is about His grace and forgiveness that covers all our sins.  He provides healing and restoration, that is life freeing. There is nothing we can do that is so bad that it will cause us to completely lose this benefit of His love. Like the story of this woman, it is easy to get caught up in the sin story and not see the grace story.  God’s grace story for us is the greatest story ever told, and it was written especially for you and me.  Don’t miss His grace and forgiveness in your life. 

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