Grace has a place!
Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So, what do you say?” 6 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. 7 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.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 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. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more. John 8: 1-11
Have you ever wondered what Jesus was writing in the sand? Here Jesus was sitting around the community gathering place in that time – the Temple grounds. People began to gather around him. Instead of talking about who won the rock bowling contest between the east and west synagogues, he engaged them in something much more life-giving. He shared with them truths about God and what they meant to God. Out of the blue comes a group of folks who want a woman stoned to death for committing adultery. This wasn’t a trial to decide. She was actually caught. There were witnesses and, in that day, there was punishment – stoning. Pretty serious consequences for immorality. It is hard for us to relate, but they understood. However, Jesus takes this opportunity to share a greater teaching about God. This teaching wasn’t about sin consequences, but rather, life changing grace. Remember the words “life changing”. They all understood that sin was serious, so Jesus asked them, if any of them had ever sinned. They were all guilty of sin and not really qualified to carry out this judgment. They realized that and walked away. So back to what was Jesus writing? Could it have been to this young lady as she wept face down in the dirt? You are loved! God still cares for you! We don’t really know what Jesus wrote, but we do know she was not killed that day and her life changed from her sin habit. This experience of grace made her fall in love with God. When she fell in love with God, she began to love herself and see herself in God’s eyes. When this happed, her sin life changed to a life in keeping with God’s ideals. A life of thanksgiving. Jesus was good at taking advantage of the organic opportunities around him to share something powerful and life-changing about God. Look for these opportunities around you. Sharing who God is and who we are to Him changes lives and makes them more beautiful and blessed. There are opportunities for all kinds of conversations on all kinds of topics. Be different! Take this opportunity for God and watch how these seeds changes lives.
Gracious Heavenly Father, thank you for your great love for me and for all of us. Thank you for dying on a cross for my sin. Thank you for rescuing me. Thank you for reminding me that I am yours. Help me to live in the thanksgiving of your grace and to share the same with others. In Jesus name I pray, Amen!
Pastor Craig Bollinger
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