Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Just a Stone's Throw Away

Ever been "caught with your hand in the cookie jar?" Not a real comfortable situation to be in, especially if The Boss catches you. While reading my Bible this morning, I was loaned another treasure and I'd like to pass it on to you.

The story of the woman caught in the act of adultery takes on a whole new meaning in my continuing relationship with the Lord. I found something I've never heard preached before and there it was right in front of me, all along!

St. John Chapter 8, verses 1-11 pretty well tells the basic story, but let me tell you what I found in reading between the lines. When the Pharisees brought the woman, "taken in adultery" to Jesus they had pretty much decided her fate, but wanting to "kill two birds with one stoning" they'd see what Jesus had to say about it all. They immediately started quoting to Him the law, according to Moses. Pretty impressive credentials to say the least. I mean, when you're talkin' THE LAW, you really don't need to say much more once you mention the name of Moses. He was the first to bring it down the mountain. (Come to think of it, he was the second too, but I digress)

When her accusers brought her before Jesus and the rest of the crowd, I love what He did next. Verse 6 ..."But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not." Now I don't know where you come from but for someone like that to ignore me would just about burn my biscuits! But I love the way he treated the woman. A true gentleman in every sense of the word. After he spoke the immortal words "he that is without sin among you, let him cast a stone at her" He went right back to writing on the ground again. Now the words or pictures he drew on the ground have been the subject of debate from that time to this. I don't know that what he wrote is as important as that he wrote. Stay with me here.

The God of all creation, just visiting for a 33 year incarnate stint, stopped by one day to hear a case which by virtue of the law of the land, in that time, was pretty well sealed and delivered. However, because of who He was, He "stooped down" and touched the ground with His finger, writing something that would affect the lives of everyone there. The judges, the jury and the accused all stood with bated breath waiting for the verdict. When you can't figure out which way to run, or in her case, with nowhere to run, you go back to the basics. He touched the same element from which you and I and every living human being, since Adam, was formed and made a difference, the dust of the ground. The law was presented, but it took divinity wrapped in a cloak of humanity to make a difference by stooping down to touch our base element, and when the accusers indictment was brought forth is seemed to fall on deaf ears, because the Bible says, it was "as though He heard them not." I know he could hear them. He just didn't justify their taunts. This is where true Grace appeared. Mercy would have granted the woman in question imprisonment or perhaps a lashing, instead of a death sentence. Grace on the other hand makes the offence disappear, as if it never happened, and she was free and uncondemned to "go and sin no more." But it took the hand of God, once again reaching down to fallen man, or woman as the case may be, and a simple touch of the base element from which we're all created to exact change in a life.

Jesus stated that He did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it. He proved it that day by setting the woman free, forgiving her and allowing her to become a new creature with all the benefits of righteousness. By His stooping down to touch the ground, paying no heed to the voices of doom, and setting an adulteress free he fulfilled everything prophesied about Him. Pretty amazing in my Book.

Now put that rock down. You might hurt somebody with it...

1 comment:

Gypsy Scribe said...

Lovely thoughts this morning. Thank you for that picture of Grace :)

~Jen