What I read today
Numbers 35-36; Psalm 76; Jeremiah 10; John 8; 1 Timothy 3
If you’re a parent, you’ve seen it many times. If you teach elementary school students, you’ve seen it before. If you’ve supervised adults, you’ve seen it before.
Yep, you know exactly what’s going to happen.
You hear the fighting from another room. One’s crying the others yelling. Then there’s the explaining. Pretty soon you hear the footsteps heading your way as the arguing and crying grow louder and louder.
Then their all standing in front of you.
Accusations are flying. This one did that, the other one did this, I’m right, those guys are wrong. Yep, you’ve seen it before.
Jesus had seen it too. As he sat in the crisp morning air of the Mount of Olives, he watched the crowd slowly form. He watched as the woman was dragged out into the mob. She was pleading for mercy. Crying in fear. Yet the mob in its righteous indignation was planning on being the enforcer of the Law of Moses this day.
Of course, the mob was being selective in its outrage. Where was the person she’d been caught in the act of adultery with? The law was clear that both of them were to be punished? Yet for some reason, they were only focusing on her.
So they drag her in front of Jesus. The Elders can’t understand why he’s not taking this seriously. This was a severe offense. This required the death penalty. Jesus kept drawing on the ground with a stick, seemingly paying no attention to any of them.
Finally, one of the Elders shouts at Jesus, “Hey this woman deserves death. What do you say? The Law has to be fulfilled doesn’t it?”
Finally, Jesus looks up and says, “Let him without sin throw the first stone.”
I imagine you could have heard a pin drop.
A few minutes pass by. Then you hear the first stone hit the ground. Then another falls harmlessly to the ground. Soon you hear the sound of rocks falling, as the rest of the crowd drops them to the ground. Then the mob slowly slinks away leaving only Jesus and the woman.
She stands there shaking. She thinks, “What just happened?” She stares at Jesus not knowing what to say or do.
Slowly, Jesus looks up at her. “Woman,” he says, “has no one condemned you?”
Still trembling in fear as the adrenaline continues coursing through her body she responds, “no one sir.”
She waits for the lecture. She waits for Jesus to yell at her in anger. She fears he’s going to let her have it for what she’s done.
Then Jesus says, “I don’t condemn you either. Go and change your life.”
Today Jesus offers us the salvation that he’s earned. He tells us to be the light of the world. He tells us, “go and tell people about the free gift of God’s grace and mercy.”
In our world that is hurting today his grace is the only thing that can bring healing.