All posts tagged judging

Grace Dispensers

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The Pharisees try to trick Jesus with a woman caught in the act of adultery. They tried to discredit Christ by making Him side with the Law and appear to be uncaring, or breaking the Law of Moses and siding with the woman.

As usual, Jesus exceeded all expectations. (In baseball terms, He hit the ball out of the park.)

Take a look at the passage from the New Living Translation:

 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. 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.

“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

 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. 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!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

 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. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

 “No, Lord,” she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” John 8:1-11

When describing this scene, my pastor said, “The Pharisees threw this woman down with the Law, and Jesus raised her up with Grace.”

Sometimes I think of this woman as needing His grace. I mean–caught in the act? I’ve never been caught in the act. But if I believe all Scripture is inspired by God, then I have to believe that when Jesus spoke in Matthew 5 about being guilty for just thinking about it—in His eyes, well, I might have a problem. You might too. In fact, I’m pretty sure of it.

But the fact is, I tend to categorize people.

I look at them and have thoughts like, How could they make such bad choices? I would never have done that! Can’t they get their lives together?

I throw the Law down.

But then I realize that my life has been pretty good. My parents provided for me as a child, didn’t abuse me, and even liked each other. They encouraged me to attend school and assumed I would go to college.

Many don’t have that. And by the way, why was I born in the United States? I could have been born in Nigeria or Iraq.

It is all grace. All of it. All undeserved and unearned.

The God of the universe dispensed grace and forgiveness to this woman. He did the same with me. The Law threw me down and Jesus raised me up.

That is Amazing Grace.

Let’s be grace dispensers like our Lord.

How can you do that this week? Tell me about it.