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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

8/3/11 Adultery, Grace, and Repentance

7th Commandment: Do not commit adultery

2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:1-11)

(Woman Caught in Adultery Sebastiano Conca 1741- Christies of London)

Thoughts: Here Jesus does not condemn the woman, but gives her a chance to leave her life of sin.  He does not condone her adultery- and encourages her to "leave her life of sin."  But neither does He leave her without hope as her accusers did.  The good news of the Gospel is that it is possible to be forgiven and to go on with life- and even eternal life.  In Christ the power of adultery is not the last word. Neither is the power of condemnation the last and final word.  Rather in Christ there is forgiveness, but also a charge to overcome the evil power of faithlessness.

Prayer: Help me, O Lord, to be forgiving toward others who sin publicly, and help me to be kind yet strong toward them.  

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