Monday, December 28, 2015

Another look at and old story.........

It's an old story we have heard before, but sometimes we need to hear the old stories again.  They were told for the benefit of all mankind, giving us a course of direction to take with our lives when similar situations arise.  This one is from John 8. 

Early one morning Jesus showed up at the temple courts and a crowd gathered around him as he sat down to teach.  Then those which were known as the teachers of the law, along with the Pharisees, showed up and brought with them a woman who was caught in adultery.  They stood her before the assembled crowd while confronting Jesus with how to handle the ordeal. “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.   The Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”  It's one thing to be caught in a sin, but another thing to have our sin made known to a group of people. And the surprising thing is, the accusers of this woman were not really concerned about her, they were simply trying to push Jesus into a corner with his answer.  How would you answer them?

Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with his finger.  The group pressed him further for an answer of how to handle this woman and her sin, but the answer they got wasn't what they were expecting. When Jesus stood up and spoke, he said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  One by one, the accusers left and soon only Jesus and the woman were standing there. Jesus 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.”

Some would conclude from this story that Jesus isn't going to condemn us if we commit adultery!  The good news is that Jesus isn't going to condemn us for any of our sins if we commit our lives to him and leave our sinful ways.  That was too much for those religious leaders to grasp. They had the strict adherence to the law on their side, she deserved to be stoned. But she had the loving and forgiving Savior on her side. 

Some would argue that the story produces a false sense of forgiveness in that this woman showed no remorse, didn't say she was sorry, and did not promise to stop sinning.  The story's end in the Bible is comprised of the words of Jesus  for her to go and leave her life of sin.  We have no additional information that would tell us if she did that, or continued her sinful ways. 

The lesson for us in this story is that while Jesus would still consider adultery a sin, he teaches us that forgiven sinners are more important than the law which condemns them to death.  Maybe your sin is not as bad as adultery, and maybe your sin has not been made public, but the fact still remains, we all sin, "and fall short of the glory of God."  We deserve punishment. We deserve death. 

On the cross, Jesus died for this woman caught in adultery, just as he died for you and me. His blood covers our sin and brings us into a rightness with God. His mercy and his grace are given as his response to sinful mankind. Our response is to "Go, and leave our lives of sin."


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