In my youth, many moons ago, we were drawn to “who done it” detective movies. Real-life movies about murder, tragedy, love, and heroism, and we tended to hope for a happy ending. Our imaginations would get fired up with the plot’s twists and turns. We didn’t like it when a character got treated unfairly, and we smiled when justice was served. We would walk away satisfied when it all ended well.
Stories in Scripture and life can work out a little differently. I don’t know who the adulterous woman in the story of John 8 is, or where her story started, but I am pretty sure she didn’t want to be dragged into a public square and threatened with execution. Having your faults exposed for everyone to see is not something any of us want in our life story. It is easy to judge others and find fault, but remember Jesus, is there looking and listening.
Today, let us think about the adulterous woman. She was guilty as charged, as we often are, but at that moment when Christ told them, “you who are without sin throw a stone,” He reminds us that we are all sinners and that this woman represents all of us. Only Jesus has the right to throw a stone, and He chooses not to. Instead, He decides to use grace and forgiveness. In this new year, Christ asks us to throw away our judgemental stones and follow His example.
“Where are [your accusers]? Has no one condemned you? . . . Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” — John 8:10-11
Yahweh, thank you for reminding us today that our task is not to judge others but instead to offer people your forgiveness. Father, help us all to accept your offer of forgiveness and begin living a new story. In Christ’ name, Amen.
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