Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Guilty Verdict

Chuckle: "You know it's going to be a bad day when your income tax refund check bounces."
Good Quote: “In judging of others a man laboreth in vain, often erreth, And easily sinneth; but in judging and examining himself, he always laboreth fruitfully.” --Thomas à Kempis
When they kept on questioning him (Jesus), he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her" (John 8:7 NIV).
To put our passage in context; a woman had been caught in the act of adultery, and Jewish law required that she be stoned to death. If Jesus had not upheld the required punishment, He could have been accused of being against the Law. But instead, He turned the tables on the accusers and caused them to examine their own lives for sins they had committed.
Isn't it easy to be critical of others without noticing the flaws in our own lives? It's so tempting to sit in judgment and render a verdict when, as Christians, we should be focusing on compassion, forgiveness, and redemption. Jesus' words remind us that we are all sinners saved by grace, and when we see someone indulging in a sinful life-style our attitude should be: "There but for the grace of God go I."
Benjamin Franklin once wrote, "Don't throw stones at your neighbor if your own windows are glass." These were "religious" people who wanted to harshly judge this woman and inflict the most cruel punishment possible as legally required. Until Jesus confronted them about their own sin, they were harsh, self-righteous, and unforgiving. Jesus was not downplaying the severity of the woman's sin, but rather He was teaching His listeners a great lesson -- that we have no right to judge others and carry out punishment for sin. That is God's business and our business should be to hate sin but love the sinner as Jesus has loved us.
Let's read on: When the (woman's) accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to her, "Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?" "No, Lord," she said. And Jesus said, "Neither do I. Go and sin no more" (John 8:9-11 NIV).
As we observe the sins in the lives of others, we must remember our own sinful nature, and look for opportunities to help them rather than condemn them. Following the example of Jesus, we can compassionately and lovingly encourage people to leave their sinful life-styles and receive God's forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ.
Love, Jerry & Dotse

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