“The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”” John 8:3-5
So there is a woman who has been caught in the act of adultery. The Pharisees drag her to where Jesus is teaching. They tell Jesus what she has done. They remind Him of the law of Moses that commands such a person be put to death by stoning. They wait for Jesus to sign her death warrant.
But Jesus doesn’t go along with the narrative of guilt and death. Jesus stoops down beside the woman and starts to write in the sand.
There is an unerry silence. Nobody knows what is going on. This isn’t the way they pictured the story playing out. The crowd was there to see vengeance and a sinner made to pay for her deeds.
Then Jesus stands and says to the mob “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7). Again Jesus stoops down beside the woman and again He writes in the sand.
Again there is silence. And then the noise begins.
As one by one the stones are dropped reluctantly to the ground from fist that had been yearning to throw venom packed judgement and the crowd slips away, knowing they too have their dark secrets and are guilty too. And then it is just Jesus and the woman. Jesus, the sinless, spotless Son of God. Jesus, the one who could throw the first stone.
He stands up. The woman, this sinner who has been caught in the act, undeniably guilty, face to face with the one who spoke the universe into being. The two of them, alone in a moment that would have seemed an eternity to the woman as she waited for Jesus to condemn her.
And then Jesus speaks. He speaks words that changed everything for this woman “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? Neither do I condemn you; go and from now on sin no more” (John 8:10,11).
The world says condemn but the Word says grace – Jesus has grace in His eyes and God’s breathed out word has grace for us on every page as He invites us to come and join the better story.
Jesus’ words to us are the same as to that woman – “Go and sin no more” – His grace covers our sin, but in the grace story there is transformation. The narrative is not that we have freedom to keep on sinning, but that when we encounter grace we are to be transformed and leave that behind us.
Join the story of grace and encounter that transformation. Come and join the story that says the best is yet to come. The story that says your past does not exclude you from the eternal future ahead of us. The story that says you are loved and you have value. The story that reminds us we are not left in our sin but we are pursued and bought back at a high price, at the cost of Jesus’ life. The story that says our brokenness can be transformed and woven into a beautiful story by the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. Come and join the story of grace, the story that is open to all who call on the name of the Lord.