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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Jesus' Mercy Compels Us to "Go and Sin No More"!

John 8:3-11, "As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd,“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery.The law of Moses says to stone her.What do you say?”
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. 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!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
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.Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.  And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
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No one knows for sure what Jesus was writing in the dust of the ground when the Scribes and Pharisees threw the woman at His feet. Many speculations have been made and so I will add my two cents based on what I know about God and His word.
 
Jesus being 100% God, when He stooped down, MAYBE He was writing each name of the woman's accusers, beginning with the eldest...and then MAYBE he wrote her name? After all, the Son of God knows every person's name (read Psalm 139 and Isaiah 43:1). Knowing one's name is a sign of relationship. So maybe Jesus was wanting to convey, "I know YOU and desire a relationship with you. I did not come to condemn anyone, for all have sinned. I desire to show MERCY and GRACE to all who believe in Me." 
If He was spelling out each person's name, did they watch in disbelief and wonder what was going on? Did they whisper to one another, "How does He know my name?" Again, if this was the case, I can only image what was going through their minds.
Not recognizing His mercy, these men were bent on pointing their finger, judging and condemning this woman. After all, The Law of Moses permitted them to stone 'such a woman'...Their religious pride blocked them from seeing their own sin and it demanded an answer from Jesus.
Jesus stood up, looked them in the eyes and spoke, "Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone."
One by one these religious men dropped their stones and the people in the crowd dropped their heads, because they were SINNERS too. Jesus was the only One in the crowd that had NEVER sinned.  So being without sin, He was the only One with the right to throw the first stone... As a matter of fact, He had the right to condemn all who were in the crowd that day. But instead Jesus, sinless Son of God, showed them all mercy. Mercy rippled through the crowd that day and the woman, broken and ashamed, immediately felt His mercy and recognized Jesus as Lord when He said to her, "Nor do I accuse you. Go and sin no more." I wonder how many others HEARD his words of mercy and were impacted for all eternity that day?

You see, people have not changed. We are quick to point the finger and judge someone else's visible sin, all the while acting as though we are innocent because our sins have not been exposed. We are quick to say in our condescending voice, "I can't believe they did that! I would never do such a thing!" or "She thinks she's holier-than-thou". People, no matter which direction you are pointing, it's still a judging finger!

Nor had God changed! Through His Holy eyes, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him" (John 3:16-17). 

Jesus' words of mercy echoes throughout all time and humble, repentant hearts will hear Him say, "Go and sin no more." This doesn't mean we will never sin again, it simply means that we desire to turn from our sin and live according to God's will, not our own. I know personally, when I sin, it breaks His heart and therefore, breaks mine. However, when we continue a sinful lifestyle, it magnifies US and diminishes Him! The watching world only sees, "God doesn't have the power to change lives." Mercy changed the adulteress woman that day! Mercy gave her a new identity when Jesus compelled her to turned from her sinful life and follow Him.  Mercy calls each of us to do the same! After all, we are all "adulterous" people in need of His mercy!

Mercy is not giving people what they deserve. Grace us giving us what we don't deserve.
"But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not  on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy" (Titus 3:4-5).
"For by grace you have been saved through faith" (Ephesians 2:8).

Father God, forgive me for pointing my finger and acting as if I do not sin. I know I am a sinner saved by Your grace. Forgive me of my hidden sins and the sins that are exposed. Help me to go and sin no more so that the world watching sees the power of Your saving grace! Empty me of self, filling me with Your Holy Spirit so that I can be used by You to draw others to Your Majesty!
Lord, help me to extend mercy and grace to others and love all people as You love a sinner like me. In Jesus' Name I pray!