Happy Memorial Day to the brave men and women who served our country. A special remembrance to those friends who died in combat. 2nd Batallion 501st Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, United States Paratroopers
The scripture for today is John 8:7
John 8:7 So when they continued asking Him, He lifted himself up, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
Jesus teaches a beautiful lesson on grace and forgiveness in this incident with the woman who is caught in the act of adultery. Her accusers obviously had plotted this occasion to trap Jesus into offending the law of Moses. After dragging this frightened woman into the presence of Christ, they told Him, “Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what say you? This they said, testing Him, that they might have to accuse Him.” John 8:5-6
Here we have on display the heartlessness of men who would put to death someone who is no more morally offensive than themselves. It is a peculiar characteristic of cultures dominated by ungodly men, that women are often shamed and punished for behavior that is overlooked or even celebrated in men. We find a similar situation in the story of Judah and Tamar in the Old Testament.
Tamar was Judah’s daughter-in-law. She had been married to two of his sons, and both died. As the custom was, she was to be given to the third son when he became of age, but Judah refused to fulfill that obligation. Tamar disguised herself as a harlot when Judah went “harlot shopping.” Coming upon Tamar, Judah hired her and she received payment from him in the form of a pledge, articles that identified the owner. In the course of time, Tamar was found to be with child. “And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar your daughter in law has played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.” Genesis 38:24 Judah was more guilty than Tamar, but his first inclination was not to assess his own sinfulness and guilt but to burn Tamar to death. Fortunately, Tamar had those pledges, and when Judah recognized his own things, he realized that the true error was his own.
Jesus does a similar thing with these men who were so quick to demand the life of a woman caught in sin. He asks no questions; rather He makes a pointed statement, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” His words cut to their hearts for they realized that they were just as guilty as the one they were trying to condemn. They also knew that Jesus knew it. Slowly, one by one, they all left, leaving no one with the woman but Jesus, the only one who was without sin. Jesus did not condemn her; He set her free from the bondage of sin and death. No longer did she have to look to others for gratification; no longer did she have to cower in fear. She had met Jesus and her life would never be the same; Jesus set her free! The words of Jesus to that woman, who was a sinner, was, “Neither do I condemn you: go, and sin no more.”
We may embrace those words, for Christ extends the same grace and forgiveness to us; He sets us free to be sinners no more.
God bless you as you continue in His service.