My Thoughts:

 

Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say? They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? She said, No one, sir. And Jesus said, Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again. John 8:1-15 (NIV)

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

Have you ever felt like you wanted a do-over in life?  Did you ever make a minor or a major slip up in life, and you wish you could re-write history?  Has your life been one mistake after another, with friends and family who you wish had given you support, just to have them wave the judgement stick over your head?

 

I am sure that, for all of us, we have broken a commandment or two, or three, or four, maybe even all of them at some point in our life.

 

Lets just take a minute, and examine ourselves:

 

  Have I practiced any superstitions (horoscopes, fortune tellers, etc.)?

  Have I used God's name in vain by way of profanity?

  Have I murmured or complained against God (blasphemy)?

  Have I maligned priests or others consecrated to God?

  Have I sworn by God's name (oath) either falsely or rashly?

  Have I broken any private vow?

  Have I missed Mass on Sundays or holydays through my own fault?

  Have I been late for Mass through my own negligence?

  Have I been disrespectful to my parents or neglected them?

  Have I failed in obedience or reverence to others in authority?

  Have I mistreated my wife or children?

  Have I been disobedient or disrespectful to my husband?

  Have I cursed anyone or otherwise wished evil on him?

  Have I taken pleasure in anyone's misfortune?

  Is there anyone to whom I refuse to speak or be reconciled?

  Have I lied about anyone (calumny)?

  Have I rash judged anyone of a serious sin?

  Have I engaged in gossip?

  Have I lent an ear to scandal about my neighbour?

  Have I been jealous or envious of anyone?

  Have I denied my spouse of his or her marriage rights?

  Have I abused my marriage rights in any other way?

  Have I committed adultery or fornication?

  Have I harbored lustful desires for anyone?

  Have I read indecent literature or looked at indecent pictures?

  Have I watched suggestive films or programs?

  Have I used indecent language or told indecent stories?

  Have I boasted of my sins?

  Have I sinned against chastity in any other way?

  Have I stolen anything?

  Have I damaged anyone's property through my own fault?

  Have I cheated or defrauded others?

  Have I refused or neglected to pay any debts?

  Have I neglected my duties or been slothful in my work?

  Have I refused or neglected to help anyone in urgent necessity?

  Have I failed to make restitution?

 

I have answered yes to quite a few of these questions.  How about you?

 

In John 8:1-15 this woman, just like any of us, has very obvious and visible sin in her life.  Like her, we too have been caught in breaking some if not all of the ten commandments.  With our sins, it is very easy for us to be cast out of our families or out of our church community.  But thats just not the way that our God is.

 

While these our uptight leaders, families, friends and others would be unforgiving to us and others who have sinned and be ready to stone and condemn, thats not our Lord.  Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger (vs.6b, NIV)

 

As He was bending down writing on the ground, I can only imagine the hurt He felt for this woman.  He didnt just see an adulterous woman.  He saw a broken woman.  Just as when we sin, He sees a broken mother, father, child, a hurting parent, worker, friend.  He heard the accusing crowd, but yet His focus was on the truth.  He is not saying that she didnt commit a sin.  He is not saying that when we sin, that there are no consequence.

 

The verse tells us He didn't just stand up, He straightened up.  Because what He was about to say was something that would pierce their hearts.  His words, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her" (vs. 7, NIV).   We are all unworthy in the sight of God.  Yet in His correction to us He has always shown mercy.  How many times, if any,  have we shown this same mercy to our brothers and sisters? 

 

Gods mercy and grace is an awesome feeling.  I know, for me, when I experience His forgiveness it brings me to tears.  So I can only imagine the flood of emotions filling this woman.  She has now witnessed hope in the middle of her circumstance.  This must have been the first glimpse of light that this woman had seen in a long time.  Finally, someone saw the value in her beyond the bedroom.  Jesus then spoke to her.  He declared that He did not condemn her but she must leave her life of sin and sin no more.  She was given a do-over!

 

Have you ever wished for a do-over in life?  I have.  I have been that woman who had no hope.  I am a witness: Jesus is the Master of second chances. Throughout the scriptures He not only raised the physically dead, He resurrected the spiritually and emotionally dead as well.  Jesus wants us to see that we are not alone.  No one is perfect, only our Lord.  No one is righteous!  We all have our own sins, some are just more visible than others.  But Jesus knows our heart.  He knows our struggles.  He sees what plagues our lives, and He wants to help us.

 

Where are you in this story?  Are you the adulterous woman looking for hope?  Are you the leader looking to condemn?  Are you part of the crowd standing silently in the background?  There was only One in this story without sin, and He offered grace.

 

Jesus is the perfect example of how we are to live the truth.  Quietly seek the Father's guidance pray.  Think before speaking. Then straighten up and live redeemed.

 

He has come to give us a second chance; a do-over.

 

@LeAnn Chuck-DaCosta

 

Let us pray:

Dear Jesus, I need a do-over in my life!  My sin may be hidden from others, but it is so obvious to You.  Cleanse me Lord, and let me be worthy to stand in Your presence.  Forgive me Lord for my past sin and make me new.  Help me to listen to You more, and to try and do only what is right in Your sight.  Teach me how to straighten up and live redeemed.  In Your beautiful and mighty name we pray.  Amen.

Reflections: 

What sin is hidden in my heart?

Do I offer grace to others?

Am I willing to listen to His Voice and live redeemed?

Power Verses:

John 1:16 "From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another." (NIV) 

Psalm 71:23 "My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you- I, whom you have redeemed." (NIV) 

Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
Bible Story illustrations by publishing.com 

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