Stone Her or not Stone Her

  In the Gospel of John, the 8th chapter, there is a story that reveals some of the ugliness of human nature. Yet, out of it shines a rare beauty, that we will not soon forget.  While Jesus was teaching in the temple, He was rudely interrupted by the religious leaders who brought before Him, a woman caught in adultery.  Her hair was mussed, her garments torn and soiled and stamped upon her face was fear and anger.  There is no question about her guilt, for she was caught in the very act.  How embarrassing. These religious leaders knew the law, and it taught that such a person should be stoned to death.  They think they have Jesus on the horns of a dilemma. If Jesus says, ‘stone her’ then, He is not compassionate, forgiving, loving. If He does not agree with stoning her, then He breaks the Law.  It seems that they have Jesus trapped.  Jesus simply bent over and began to write in the sand. The leaders demanded an answer from Jesus. He stood up straight and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”  Then, he bent over again and continued writing in the sand.  What did He write in the sand?  May I make some suggestions: 1. Jesus will not be rushed in the decision, so He is thinking it out and praying to His Father. 2. Jesus wanted the accusers to have time to reflect on what they were doing. Hopefully, their conscience would speak to them. 3. Jesus was so embarrassed by it all, that He hid His eyes from them.  4. Perhaps, He wrote in the sand a list of sins. They saw themselves in that list.    Whatever it was that He wrote, these religious leaders began to leave.  When Jesus stood up, there was no one there, except this woman.  He asked the woman, “Woman, where are they?  Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, sir,”  Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you, Go now and leave your life of sin.”

  I have heard in connection with this woman, forgiveness  But, not a word of forgiveness is mentioned. This woman does not ask for forgiveness.  We do not know whether or not she repented of her sinfulness.  But, what we do know is that Jesus offered her a second chance, a new beginning.  Jesus believed in her, that she could live a better life.  She could be a different woman. She does not have to live like she had been living. Go now,and quit your sinning, is the challenge from Jesus.  What a beautiful opportunity, to turn over a new leaf.

  Someone has written these lines:
“How I wish that there was some wonderful place called the land of beginning again.
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches and all our poor selfish grief
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door, and never put on again.”
I want to tell you that there is such a place.There has to be or we are all doomed.  God, through Jesus, offers each of us a beginning again, forgiveness of sins.  The Gospel of Christ is a gospel of second chances.  I need it, don’t you?

  We sing,  “Christ receiveth sinful men, even me with all my sin. 
Purged from every spot and stain, Heaven, with Him, I enter in.
Sing it over and over again, Christ receiveth sinful men.
Make the message clear and plain, Christ receiveth sinful men.”     

  Come, just as you are, but you cannot stay that way.  In Christ, you are a forgiven sinner, washed in the blood of the Lamb, to live for Him who died for you.

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