How exciting, I have reached a blogging Milestone with this post! It is my 50th post to date! 🙂 I had planned to write a lot more this year, and I am off to a good start! If you are reading this, thank you for stopping by, and sharing this journey with me!
For this special post, I want to share with you one of THE single most beautiful pictures of God’s Grace in the New Testament, and a story that truly brings tears to my eyes, which is found in John chapter 8.
Tracking from verse one, we see the scene being set up. Jesus has returned once again to the temple complex to teach, and as usual, many people have turned out to hear Him speak and teach. However, unlike many other accounts in the Gospels, something different happens here. Something that is truly Breathtaking, Amazing, Beautiful even, and so altogether captivating, it is almost as if you can imagine being right there in the crowd.
3 Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center. 4 “Teacher,” they said to Him, “this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. 5 In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say? ” 6 They asked this to trap Him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse Him. Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with His finger.
After reading this, you may even think to yourself . . . “This just got real.”
Here this woman is who was caught in the “act of adultery,” so they had actually witnessed her in the middle of her crime, and subsequently drug her out to face the masses in the middle of the temple complex, ready to stone her dead, via public execution.
Is this not the ultimate badge of shame?
She is caught red-handed; the law requires death, there were witnesses, and everyone is now aware of her crime. Her scarlet letter is burning hot on her sleeve.
What more to be done now, than to cower in fear, and shame? However, this particular day, Jesus was in the house. The Pharisees thought this would be a great opportunity to trap Him, so they put this to Him as some sort of test. What were they hoping He would say?
Consequently, the next verse is so DRAMATIC and such a shock to those hearing it, it takes a moment for them to register what is actually happening.
7 When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Then He stooped down again and continued writing on the ground.
I’m sure they were thinking: Waaait, whaaaat? That throws a kink in some things. Who are you to Take this woman’s sin, and throw it back on us? This isn’t about us, this is about her; her sin, her crime! Not ours. But, now that you mention it, how can I throw a stone at this woman? Have I not lied, cheated, and stolen, manipulated, gossiped, and have I not been proud?
9 When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only He was left, with the woman in the center.
They couldn’t do it. Not one of them could throw the first stone.
The hardened Pharisees, were humbled. The older ones, those with more influence, and wisdom left first. They heard the truth.
10 When Jesus stood up, He said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? ” 11“No one, Lord,” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”
Jesus was the only one with the right to condemn her, and yet He did not. He showered His mercy and His grace upon her; like a fresh spring, it refreshed her soul. He loved her. He loved them. He loves us all, no matter our spots or blemishes.
Neither do I condemn you.
These are the words that brought me to tears. I just kept repeating them to myself, and let them wash over me like a fountain. Jesus is my breath of fresh air. Jesus is my tall glass of water. He renews my mind. He eases my troubled thoughts (even the ugly ones about myself), and He gives me G R A C E.
His grace is sufficient.
So, What right do I have to judge another human being? None. Even Jesus saw past the guilt and shame that was hers; He went so far as to defend her in public. He protected her, saved her life, gave her another chance.
He F O R G A V E her. He F O R G A V E me. He F O R G A V E you.
So, please let it go. Whatever, it is you’re holding onto, whether it be the Bitterness that comes from unforgiveness, or the guilt and self-loathing of something from your past. Today is a new day, and His grace is sufficient for you.
What is holding you back from giving or receiving His grace today? Why not choose today, to walk in His peace, and rest in His undying love for you?
As soon as you do, your life will be a portrait of Grace and the overflow will be tremendous.
Choose Grace today. Choose Peace. Choose Forgiveness.
Please listen to this song if you can, because I think it really exemplifies this idea even more:
Versos en Español: