And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (John 8:3-11, KJV)
What a lesson in humility. What a lesson in mercy. The Bible tells us that we are to follow the example of Christ, becoming more and more like Him everyday. Here we see what He is like when someone is caught in sin. And a sin that is considered quite serious even in our time, but more so in His time.
He judged the sin as wrong. He told her to sin no more. But He didn’t reject or condemn the person.
For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. (John 3:17, Amplified)
These days, it seems that so many are quick to judge, reject, and condemn others. We practice it everyday. Think about the politician, the newsman, the bad driver on the freeway, maybe even your spouse or your kids.
We may not agree with them. We may believe and rightly so that their words or actions are wrong, but we have not been sent to reject them or condemn them. We have been sent to love them. We have been sent as His ambassadors… ambassadors of His love and His mercy.
Here Jesus said to this woman’s accusers, you who is without sin throw the first stone. And not one was left behind. We had all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Not one of us was guiltless. But because of His great love and mercy He died for us while we were yet sinners. And it is only the mercy and grace of God that we are now guiltless and sin free before Him.
The next time you see someone fall to sin, search your heart for God’s leading. How would He have you to help them. He would rather your pray for them than to complain about them or reject them. He would rather you be part of the answer for that person rather than being part of the problem.
Carrie Prejean has been an excellent example of this. She spoke out against sin, but she has not spoken out against any person even when they have attacked her. She too was not without sin. She too needed a Savior. And she is now demonstrating His gracious Spirit, His love and His mercy. Pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:44)
Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. (Romans 12:14, KJV)
…through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him]. It was God… in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor).
So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God. For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become… the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-21, Amplified)
Freely you have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:8, NKJV)
…For He is good, for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever… (2 Chronicles 5:13, Amplified)
“We may not agree with them. We may believe and rightly so that their words or actions are wrong, but we have not been sent to reject them or condemn them. We have been sent to love them. We have been sent as His ambassadors… ambassadors of His love and His mercy.” Amen!
My little pastor spoke up on Wednesday night correcting us in this very thing. We were at the baseball game. A pitcher came in who’s track record is less than worthy. R and I were fussing about how terrible he is and asking one another why the manager would bring him in. When R used the “stupid” word, L bristled up, defending the pitcher, “He may not be a very good pitcher, but he is not stupid. God doesn’t see him as stupid. God created him.” Silence fell upon our lips. We then repented and asked forgiveness from the Lord, as well as from the boys. Mercy rises up in the heart of this child.
I love it! Out of the mouths of babes…