Loved In The Very Act??


“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17 NIV) 

Kids' songs like Noah’s ark, Father Abraham, and This Little Light of Mine are all melodies that are sung in Vacation Bible Schools all over the world. But there are no songs about this story. There are no nursery rhymes that describe the plight of this young lady. In fact, if it were a movie or a mini-series, it would be too scandalous to be played without an age limit warning. Yet, the Bible pulls no punches in describing what happened. 

Matthew records that she was caught in the very act of adultery. It seems almost crazy to think that a woman would be caught in adultery in the Bible. The crazier thing is that for a woman to be caught in the act, someone had to know when the dirty deed would be going down and how to get in the house, apartment, condo, or hotel, verify the act happened and catch her in said act. This was more than a night of passion or a clandestine act of courtship. She was, according to Jewish law, about to be stoned, facing public humiliation and death; and the craziest part of the story is, at no time does the man who was there with her appear in the condemnation. 

 The woman was set up and left to take the fall. Have you felt that way before? Not totally innocent, but definitely not alone in your guilty act(s). Have you felt the weight of a poor decision only to be the one left holding the bag at the end? What makes this story worse was that she was dragged through town and pushed in front of Jesus and the crowd to determine her fate.

Jesus stoops down and writes in the sand. No words, just characters. Thud. Thud thud... The uneven rhythm of the rocks hitting the ground did not register in the accused woman's ears. She did not notice the unceremonious way her accusers tipped out of the scene as Jesus wrote their sins in the sand. 

Being caught in the very act led her to be caught by the hand of grace. Jesus removes the accusers so she could see Him without distractions. We don't know if she would have ever come face to face with the Savior without this incident. But thank God she did. Guilty. Ashamed. Exposed. Forgiven. Accepted. Covered. Released. He uttered no words of condemnation but admonished her to sin no more. Jesus knew it was sin and did not allow that to escape his view, but more than scolding, she needed to be saved. More than a lecture, He new she needed love. 

You may not have had a similar escapade. You may not be able to relate to the clandestine adventure of our unnamed adulterous… or maybe you have. You have been in someone else’s bed or participated in a tryst that did not involve your spouse. And the same love that was demonstrated to this young lady is still available to you. He still loves you. He still sees you and not the accusations against you. He is not intimidated by your sin, in fact, He still has the power to forgive them. 

… where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” (Romans 5:20 NIV)

Thought Questions:

  1. Have you ever been caught and then had your sin dragged in the public by accusers? 
  2. Do you sense Jesus’ love for you despite your sin?