New Living Translation (NLT)
4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
11 “No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
Judging has been a major theme for me this year as I journey to release my vengeful spirit. After reading The Shack, I decided to read GRACE by Max Lucado to help me along the way. As I started the 2nd chapter, the scripture above was used to introduce the concept of "the God that stoops."
Now I heard this story before as a child and in sermons but never did it strike me from the angle it did this time. I always saw it as Jesus putting the Pharisees in their places, but I never understood how much lies in this story. Here was a woman who was caught in adultery and dragged to be judged and stoned by people she didn't know, never hurt and they were completely unaware of her story. No one knew the details but everyone was ready to cast a stone.
I love how Jesus just so calmly speaks and stoops to write in the ground at the same time making some very important points. Then he says it, : "All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”, and no one can throw. So one by one they all trail off, while being reminded of their own sin and imperfections. Now being that Jesus was perfect he could have gotten up and lectured this woman on her sin, he could have picked up a bunch of stones and had target practice, but he simply said "Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” and all she could say was no Lord. And then he tells her that he doesn't either and to go live without sin.
There is so much I love in this passage, the main point being that who were these people to accuse someone else when they weren't without sin. There was only one perfect person and even he didn't condemn her, so who are we to try? Jesus stooped down to her level to fight on her behalf, how great a love. It made me ask myself: Ashley where are your accusers? No where to be found, because no matter how much someone may feel they have the right to judge and punish me based on their perceptions they are sinners too. Just like they choose to judge me for that they do not know, someone else is doing the same to them. I have no accusers and it made me feel for those who proceeded to judge me because they were ignorant to their own sin. If they were aware, humility would prevent them from judging.
It also corrected me. Who am I to judge anyone else? I cannot be an accuser, I am a sinner. It really forced me to think twice before I proceeded to judge someone or something. What's even greater in this story was that after the whole ordeal, Jesus simply told her to go live her life. Imagine that! Don't judge yourself, just sin no more and choose life. And I loved that she walked away and obeyed. Why is it so hard for us not to judge ourselves so hard after sin? If we truly want to be forgiven, it is already done. So why can't we move on with our lives? I just loved that it is really as simple as letting go and living life.
As I said before, we spend too much time living in the past and worrying about the future, but never existing in the present. So the next time you find yourself being judged pray for those who judge because they do not realize they are not your accusers. If you find yourself leaning to judge, ask yourself who are you to accuse? This message can transform lives. A community without judgement looking to overcome tragedy, find healing and live through love.
What am I saying? If you find yourself like me trying to overcome revenge, ask yourself, Where are my accusers? Forgive them, forgive yourself and proceed to live life that freedom of love and forgiveness. Destruction never fixes a problem, but making things right does.
Thank you again for sharing this journey with me, all I ask is that you share this message with at least 1 person, you never know he needs it and the lives it could change! Be blessed & I love you all!