Scripture: John 7:1 while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 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. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. 5 Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 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. 7 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.” 8 And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 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. 10 Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”
Observation: Jesus did two important things in his interaction with the woman. First, he did not avoid the fact she had sinned, nor did she deny it. Recognizing the truth revealed a humility in the woman akin to repentance. Secondly, Jesus had great mercy upon her. He gave her a second chance.
Application: Sometimes we are the ones who need a second chance since we all make mistakes. Sometimes we are the ones who can extend mercy and grace to others. Neither of these is necessarily easy. I’m reminded this morning of Jesus words in the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, give us grace to have the humility of the woman caught in adultery, as well as the mercy to forgive others when they make mistakes. For when we do these things, we are embracing the Kingdom of God. We ask this in your holy name. Amen.