“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” — John 8:7 (ESV)
God’s Heart to Meet with Man
The story of the woman caught in adultery is one the most powerful depictions of God’s heart to meet man in the midst of sin and show grace. Scripture says:
“Early in the morning He came again to the temple. All the people came to Him, and He sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to Him, ‘Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?’ 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. 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.’ And once more He bent down and wrote on the ground. 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. Jesus stood up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.'” — John 8:2-11 (ESV)
When I find myself in the midst of sin, my first instinct is to run away from God. For some reason we seem to hold this belief that God is like us, that He loves us like we love ourselves. I assume He’s even more ashamed of me than I am of myself. I assume He’s distanced Himself from me in my sin. I assume that He can’t be near to me or that His grace surely isn’t strong enough for my sin this time. But Jesus’ actions when presented with the woman caught in adultery completely obliterate my worldly perceptions of His grace.
Imagine the fear this woman feels. Imagine the horrific embarrassment and shame she feels being caught in the act of terrible sin and dragged before Jesus, God incarnate. Put yourself in her position. Feel the piercing glares of onlookers. Try and hear the terrible judgements being hurled your way by these religious leaders.
Now imagine Jesus standing before you, drawing in the sand as He did that day. Imagine what He would say to you in your sin. He doesn’t seem surprised. He doesn’t seem worried. He doesn’t even cast judgment on you. Instead, He shows you the fullness of grace for your sin.
God longs to cast away all the lies the accuser would speak to you. He longs to cause all the judgments you speak over yourself and that others have spoken over you to flee in light of His powerful grace. Jesus stands before you today with nail-pierced hands having fully paid the price for each one of your sins. He’s ready to empower you to “Go, and from now on sin no more” by His love and grace.
Receive His love today. Allow Him to meet you in the midst of your sin. Run into His arms instead of away from Him. And live empowered to experience the fullness of His presence and total freedom from sin.
— Craig Denison, First 15
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