I think sometimes of that woman caught in adultery.  This is a woman in sin.  She is cheating on her husband and is caught doing so.  She is dragged into the street, apparently straight from the act.  She sits on the ground, and a group of men stand over her to decide her fate. 

But the powers that be have not dragged her out here for justice.  She is a pawn in a bigger game.  They want to trap Jesus.  So they drag her to his feet and ask him what they should do.  They give him an ultimatum.  “Moses says we should kill someone who does this. What do you say we should do?”  They think they have a win/win scenario on their hands.  If Jesus sides with their view of Moses, then they can say he is a hard man.  If he disagrees with Moses, they can say he has no regard for the Law of God.  And as they lay the trap, this woman is just there on the ground, ashamed and afraid.  

Jesus doesn’t take their bait.  He doesn’t see a pawn, but a person.  He kneels down and begins writing on the ground.  What he writes we will never know.  But it shakes these powerful men.  Then he stands and gives his answer.  “Sure, we can kill her with stones. Let the one among you with no sin throw the first one.”  Maybe he holds a baseball size rock out, waiting for someone to take it.  He scans the crowds, waiting for someone to make a move.  One by one these snakes slither away.  

Once Jesus has dealt with them, he turns toward the woman.  “Where is everyone?  Has no one condemned you?”  

She speaks.  “No one, Lord.”  

In my mind’s eye there is smile there on his face as he speaks.  “Neither do I condemn you.  Go and sin no more.”  

Just like that, she is loved and corrected and saved.  She has met Jesus, in whom love and justice dwell perfectly.  She has sinned, but that doesn’t end her.  Jesus still has love for her.  He still spares her and gives her another chance.  He sees her.  He speaks to her. 

Sometimes I find myself on the dusty ground.  My head hung low in shame and guilt.  I am a sinner, and I feel undeserving of God’s goodness.  Shoot, I am undeserving.  And still he sees me.  He speaks.  I look and there are no stones in his hands.  

I wonder if she cried.  I know I do.

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