Seeing Others Like Jesus Does
There are so many beautiful, heart-gripping stories in the Gospels. People healed of blindness and lameness and leprosy. Tortured souls liberated from oppression. Crooked people rescued from their deceit.
Of the many impressions of Jesus interacting amidst the darkness and difficulty of our world, none arrests my own mental and emotional steps in mid-stride like the woman who was almost stoned for her adultery. Let’s look there.
John 8:1-11 New Living Translation (NLT)
8 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple.
A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 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.
4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
6 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. 7 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!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
9 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. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
11 “No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
She was caught. She was guilty. Jesus could have berated her along with the crowd of religious leaders. He might have made a scathing lesson of her sin, reviled her and destroyed her verbally. He could have called for her stoning on the spot.
And yet His course of action was entirely contrary to the tide of public religious opinion in His day.
He did not live on the surface of the law or life. There was something so much deeper, so much higher in Him.
In this staggering moment of terrible moral betrayal and offense, He was something so much more than everyone else in the crowd. His eyes saw more than they saw that day. He saw forgiveness. Restoration. Hope. When everyone else was thinking death, He was thinking life.
He extended peace and honorable actions to one who dishonored herself and God. Kindness. Gentleness. A doorway to a different life.
So I ask myself, in my own relationships, who am I? What am I like with my husband? My children?
There have been so many days when I have been a Pharisee, standing fist clenched and stone in hand.
But this picture of Jesus moves me to be something more. To be someone more. Someone who sees my own need to mature more honestly. Someone who refrains from blaming and accusing. Someone who sees forgiveness. Restoration. Hope.
In the big and small moments of life I want to more consistently house His Spirit…exude His brand of love and respect. In my home. In the workplace. With friends. With strangers.
Think of the powerful transformation that would take place in our families and communities if we each start with just this one truth?
It’s a story worth pondering til it becomes part of us.
Lisa and Bill West
***If you are looking for encouragement for your home and family, we have found much help from the Bible as well as authors Tim Kimmell, Doug Weiss, Andy Stanley, Gary Chapman, Dave Ramsey, Jim Fay, and John Maxwell.
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