I remember being younger and reading, in the bible, about people getting stoned for doing bad things. I always thought to myself “Hmm. I wish that was MY punishment for screwing up! Being stoned is fun!” Then someone explained to me that they were not smoking pot, they were literally pelting you with stones until you died. Yikes! No thank you! (This paragraph may, or may not be true. You decide! ;-))
I was reading my bible this morning in John:8, about the woman caught in adultery. If you’re familiar with the story, then you know that the Pharisees, the snotty, judgmental, religious people, brought the woman in front of Jesus, and the crowd gathered around Him, and told everyone she’d been caught in the act of adultery.
As I read this, my heart was breaking for this woman. I mean, could you imagine?! It’s embarrassing enough just being caught! But dragged in front of, literally, God and everybody?! She had to have been terrified, because the law back then was that, you were stoned to death for adultery. If that was the case these days, there wouldn’t be very many people left on the earth huh? Thankfully, we don’t get what we deserve. Read how Jesus handled this situation.
They said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught having sexual relations with a man who is not her husband. The law of Moses commands that we stone to death every woman who does this. What do you say we should do?” They were asking this to trick Jesus so that they could have some charge against him. But Jesus bent over and started writing on the ground with his finger. When they continued to ask Jesus their question, he raised up and said, “Anyone here who has never sinned can throw the first stone at her.” Then Jesus bent over again and wrote on the ground.
Those who heard Jesus began to leave one by one, first the older men and then the others. Jesus was left there alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus raised up again and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one judged you guilty?” She answered, “No one, sir.”Then Jesus said, “I also don’t judge you guilty. You may go now, but don’t sin anymore.”] John 8:4-11
Could you imagine if our preachers grabbed us, stood us in front of the church, told everyone what we’d been doing, then decided our fate? Whew! My stomach knots up just thinking about that! Most of us would rather be stoned to death than have everyone know about all the bad stuff in our lives. But here’s the deal, at the end of the day, just like the woman in John:8, when everyone else walks away, it’s what goes on between us and Jesus that counts.
We can hide sin from people, and live like the Pharisees, acting all high and mighty. We can do things here on earth, and possibly never get caught; but fact of the matter is, God knows. He doesn’t care how good we ‘look’, He only cares about how good we really are!
Shouldn’t we be just as, if not more, humiliated knowing our Heavenly Father knows our sin, as we are when our friends and family find out? Shouldn’t we worry more about what He thinks than what our peers think? I think so. It’s not, and never has been about how we look. It’s all about the motives of our hearts. In the end His opinion of us is all that matters.
Later, Jesus talked to the people again, saying, “I am the light of the world. The person who follows me will never live in darkness but will have the light that gives life.” John 8:12