Wanted: Mercy, Grace & Truth

John 8:3-11

The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees brought in a woman who had been caught committing adultery, and they made her stand before them all.  “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery.  In our Law Moses commanded that such a woman must be stoned to death. Now, what do you say?” They said this to trap Jesus, so that they could accuse him. But he bent over and wrote on the ground with his finger.  As they stood there asking him questions, he straightened up and said to them, “Whichever one of you has committed no sin may throw the first stone at her.”  Then he bent over again and wrote on the ground.  When they heard this, they all left, one by one, the older ones first. Jesus was left alone, with the woman still standing there.  He straightened up and said to her, “Where are they? Is there no one left to condemn you?”  “No one, sir,” she answered. “Well, then,” Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Go, but do not sin again.” John 8:3-11 (GNT)

I am sure the woman at the well thought she knew what the outcome of this would be. It was Jewish law to stone someone who had been caught in the act of adultery. She was preparing to meet her Maker. And meet him she did! He was standing right in front of her. J  There are so many cool things about this story but one I’ve recently come to appreciate is Jesus last words to her. “I don’t condemn you either. But stop sinning.” You see, Jesus understood that we need both grace (mercy & love) and truth. Truth, as in, we are all sinners and need a Savior. In our world, we don’t want people (including ourselves) to be uncomfortable so we don’t talk about the obvious things in our lives that we need to stop doing. What we forget is, we need truth.  We need forgiveness. We need grace. If we refuse to speak the truth, we cannot recognize the never-ending, all powerful love that God wants to share with us.  Jesus balanced truth and grace perfectly. He said to the woman, “I love you but stop sinning.”  He says the same thing to us today.

By Elaine Kapetankis

Written by Diane Levy


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