John 8: 1-11 – “They went each to his own house, but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 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. What do you say about her?’ 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 with his finger on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus looked 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 do not sin again.’”
Let’s open with prayer and ask God to take full charge of us and take full charge of this message and our understanding of it. Let our wisdom grow through He who shares all with us.
“Have Thy way in me, Lord. Have Thy way in me. Have Thy way in my thoughts, my actions, my feelings, and in my decisions. Have Thy way in me, Lord. Have Thy way in me.”
Dear God, right now we are each open and receptive, knowing that this is a spiritual experience, in which we each are being lifted to a higher level of life. Have Your way in each of us. Help us glean from this message the truth of Your walk with us through perfect change.
And so it is. In Jesus Christ’s name. . . Amen.”
Let’s talk about the scripture above – John 8: 1 – 11. We can look at it as it happened historically and actually and then talk about it spiritually. You will be amazed, perhaps, at how much meaning there is within this story.
So, let’s think about this story. There are three groups of people involved: the leading citizens (the Scribes and Pharisees, the adulteress, and Jesus). We know these leading citizens are used to and love to condemn others. And they are good at it – condemning and seeing wrong in others but never themselves. Plus they consider themselves above the law and have no compassion. Imagine this group of men preparing to stone a defenseless woman. They may be leaders in the community but in the eyes of God, they are sinners just like you and me. Do you know any people in your community like this?
Then there is the adulteress. This is the woman who is about to be stoned. We know according to the story that she was caught in the act of adultery. There is no mention of the man she was involved with. We don’t even need to go there.
This woman knew that she faced death by this group of men because of what she did. She had no recourse, no help, no forgiveness. But then, Jesus Christ came on to the scene and took over.
The first lesson we have here is that even in hopeless situations there is hope through Jesus Christ and His love. This then created for her (and for us) HOPE.
Jesus is the third person in the story. He knew the Mosaic Law and what “should” happen to her. OR should He tell them to let her go? OR should He just ignore the whole thing and walk away – to keep Himself out of trouble
He knelt down and drew in the sand. We don’t know what He was writing or drawing or if maybe He was just diverting the attention of the men while praying to God for direction. We don’t know. We do know that He did not want this woman stoned, but He had to find a way to override the Mosaic teachings. Jesus knew that He had to find a way to not negate, but yet to spiritualize and override the Mosaic teachings in those days.
Let’s think about this word adultery for a second. In its literal usage today, adultery means sexual relations outside of marriage. It refers to a physical experience only; but to adulterate also means to add something or change something that cheapens the quality or upsets the completeness of your life, your actions, or an experience.
As we relate to other people, ARE WE relating the best and with the right intentions, motives, true and honest agape love? Are we beholding the best, in ourselves and others, as we relate to people?
For instance, if we are in any kind of a relationship with another and “pretend” to care for them or enjoy being with them when we do not, we are lying. We are saying that I am in this relationship and it really doesn’t matter how I really feel about you inside. I am just playing the game; it really has nothing much to do with how I feel about you and/or myself.
That is a form of adultery. We are cheating on ourselves and the other person and on God. If we do not feel and accept the love of God in ourselves and that individual in that relationship, that can be adultery.
So let’s compare ourselves to this woman. She is acting from the heart but not too much from the head, the wisdom or intellect. When we don’t use both together, we get into a lot of trouble ourselves. We must be whole and complete. What do we hold inside that we keep away from others? How do we temper ourselves to fit a situation, adulterating our truths.
The men in this story were using only their knowledge of the law and thusly condemned the woman. But whatever happened must have made them realize that the themselves were sinful and could be condemned. That is why the first stone is never cast.
I love the way Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” He was letting them know that if you kill her, you also may be in linefor the same sentence – unless you have never made a wrong decision, never sinned, never done anything wrong. Interesting to note that they all started to leave and the oldest left first, the youngest last.
We are all three of these people – each a part of us. First the action occurs, within us begins the healing, the situation being outside of us; Christ’s love allows us to become whole and one with God. God comes in and stays. So, with prayer and faith and trust in God, we can ask God to make us true in every way. He will give us the direction, the path to follow. We become a new person, a changed person from what we were even just a short time ago. Now Christ can say to you, Where are your accusers …… ……. “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
This brings us about to a life change. And that is what is happening as we go through this now. And it is exciting to be a part of it and be aware of living it. Let’s let the changes begin and enjoy the natural progression of the journey. Let’s all smile and realize in wonderment what God is doing in our souls.
“A young woman, 95 years of age who didn’t have much formal education, but instead had an abundance of Divine wisdom once said, “Don’t you know that if you accept it, it won’t hurt so bad?”
So, let’s all do what the saying says, “Let Go and Let God! Through all our trials, fears, mis-directions, if we just “let God”, we can move forward and enjoy our life changes, our journey. We know God is walking ahead of us and we never walk alone, not even in the storm.
When you walk through a storm
Keep your chin up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark.
At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark.
Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Tho’ your dreams be tossed and blown. Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone,
You’ll never walk alone. (Rogers and Hammerstein)
At the end of your storm is that golden sky and the lark singing sweetly, singing your name. That, my friend, is our Lord welcoming us back through the change that resulted from us going through the storm and not giving up.
Let us pray: Almighty God, we all get misdirected and need the accusers to turn and walk away, knowing Your love is the way to make the change we so need in our life. Help us to move on, unafraid, knowing You are right beside us and often carrying us. Amen
And so it is . . . In Jesus Christ’s name… Amen
God bless you!