Have you ever done anything you have been deeply ashamed of?
The first bit of this text is not found in the original manuscripts, and it stands out a bit. It almost certainly should be in John, but not necessarily here. It’s the story of someone who fell into a trap. A woman had been caught in a bed she shouldn’t have been in. She was dragged before Jesus, so that he could fall into another trap either by showing compassion towards her and not doing what the law said, or alternatively doing what the law said (which was that she should be punished by people throwing stones and rocks at her) and not showing any compassion. Tough call.
But, being Jesus, he found another way. He avoided looking at anyone as he drew in the sand, in particular the half-clothed if she was lucky woman. (I should point here that she seems to be the only one in trouble here, but it does take two to tango…) He said “Let any of you without sin to be the first to stone her”.
None of us our sinless, and therefore none of us are really qualified to judge one another. Jesus is the only one who can. He calls her to leave her life of sin. He doesn’t agree with what she did by any means, but he valued the person over the law. Her life was more important than a set of rules.
After this, people go back to arguing about who Jesus was. But first he issued an important statement “I am the light of the world”. Think back to John 1 and the light that can never go out, no matter what the world might throw at us or what we might do. Jesus came to overcome even the darkest parts of our lives, and our sin is included in that.
Lord God, help me to turn away from the sin in my life, the things that are keeping me away from you. Thank you that you forgive even the most terrible things.
Is there someone you have been judging or thinking that you’re better than? How is God calling you to change that?