Jesus… Friend of Sinners

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”  They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.””  John 8:3-11

Religion kills.  Jesus saves.

The pharisees were the religious rulers of the day… the heads of the church.  One of their primary jobs was to ensure the people followed the laws of Moses, and if laws were broken, they would execute punishments.  They had organized and carried out many stonings before this particular day.  This was not a foreign procedure to them as many broken laws were punishable by death including disobeying parents, blasphemy, murder, and adultery to name a few. On this particular day, the religious rulers had sought out and found a woman caught in the very act of adultery.  They had no mercy, compassion, sympathy, or love in their hearts for her.  Sinners were to be punished and/or killed in order to purge the community of evil wickedness. Their ultimate goal in this particular case, was actually to trick Jesus in order that they might kill him as well.  The woman was a pawn in their religious game… almost in-human.

Jesus, however, turned over the stones and showed God’s true heart… one of mercy, compassion, sympathy, and love.

“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.””  John 8:10-11

Do you deserve stoning?… Yep, we’ve all sinned, from the religious leaders to the beggar on the street.

  • “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”  Romans 3:23

Are you the worst of sinners?   I am.  Once you realize this, religion fades and Christ lives.  Have compassion and show forgiveness and mercy to those in broken situations.  Pray for Christ’s light to shine in their lives.

  • “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.”  1 Timothy 1:15

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.””  Luke 19:10

Father God,  Give us the true heart of Jesus Christ.   Help us to keep our own sinfulness in perspective in allowing us to see people as you see them and feel compassion and mercy on them, forgiving them and helping them to see You. In Jesus Name.  Amen.

This Casting Crown’s Song, “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” says it well.  Enjoy!

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