Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
John 8:10-11 (NIV)
As Christians who are growing in grace and knowledge, the world can become a difficult and challenging place to live in, one that we are increasingly at odds with. We know though, that we walk through it with Jesus at our side, and through Him, we can keep our focus on the promise of what is to come – an eternity living as we were meant to, with the One who loves us perfectly! Now that is a beautiful thought and worth contemplating. However, we cannot just bide our time until then – we must be getting on with life in the here and now, but how?
When we see people living with such different values to us and when they make choices at odds with what we believe, according to the Bible – what then is our response?
A woman who had been caught in adultery was brought before Jesus. We know that Jesus did not approve of infidelity and betrayal, so how did He respond to her? Well, He didn’t react as they expected Him to – which is so like Jesus. No, He protected her first. He sheltered her from her attackers, and sent them away with the mysterious text that He wrote in the dirt (John 8:6-9). Then He told her that He didn’t condemn her! So, before He told her to change her life and make better choices, He loved her!
Jesus loved first. He had compassion and consideration instead of condemnation, and he sheltered and protected before He corrected. This then is how we should live in the world alongside those who don’t follow our Lord as we do. We love them first, and then perhaps, as they come to know Jesus and His sacrificial love for them, their response may well be to go and sin no more, and to give their lives to our loving Lord.
Lord, we don’t deserve your endless love that is new every day, and that will never end. You call us to give up our sinfulness, but you loved us first! Show us how to love our fellow human beings as you do. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
Study by Sinead Henderson
About the writer:
Sinead Henderson attends the Northampton congregation of Grace Communion International
Ecton Village Hall
78A High Street
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