Meeting Jesus - Undeserved Mercy
By Lynda Alsford, Nov 1 2017 11:43AM
Today I am looking at the woman caught in adultery from John 8:1-11.
May I suggest you imagine yourself in the woman's place as she is brought unexpectedly into the presence of Jesus. Allow Jesus to speak to you through her story. She was not expecting to meet him that day, but the short encounter with him was dramatic and life changing.
Is there something you would like Jesus to forgive you for? Bring it to him as you read this story.
I know I shouldn’t have done it. I know it was dangerous. Getting caught committing adultery might mean death by stoning, but... but I just couldn’t help myself.
Well, we were unlucky, or should I say I was unlucky. HE seems to have got away with it completely.
When they burst in on us, it was me they grabbed. Loud voices screaming at me from faces twisted with hate. Hard fingers bit into my arms as they dragged me out of the house and along the streets.
They dragged me here, into the temple, God’s holy place. There are so many people here. All around me are muffled sounds I can’t quite make out.
They’re making me stand where everyone can see me. Curious eyes bore into me. I feel exposed. My heart is beating so fast I'm sure it will burst out of my chest. My face burns but my hands and feet are icy cold despite the warmth of the sun.
How on earth did I end up here? What happened to me? I wish with all my heart I had never met that stupid man. Oh God, why did I ever let him affect me so much. Why? It’s the worst mistake I have ever made.
I glance up and see that everyone is gathered around that new teacher they call Jesus.
I don’t understand why they’re asking this Jesus what he thinks. I mean, everyone knows that the Law of Moses says to stone adulterers. Even though the Romans forbid us Jews to pass the death sentence I’m scared they’ll still do it. They’re just so angry.
But Jesus seems to be ignoring them. He’s bending down. Now he’s writing in the dirt with his finger. I notice his fingers are long and he doesn’t bite his nails. Why won’t he answer them?
I know I should be stoned. If they’re going to try to get away with stoning me, why can’t they just get on with it! I just want it over and done with. Please just do it if that’s your plan, I plead silently with them.
At last! He’s standing up. He’s saying something to them.
Does he really think they’ll be honest? Does he really think they’ll own up to their own sin! Here in front of everyone? Of course they won’t! They’ll all pretend that they’re without sin and stone me anyway.
Now he’s bending back down to draw in the dirt again. I don’t understand why he’s doing that. It’s really starting to annoy me. Why can’t he pay attention?
I stare at the dirt on the ground, the dust clinging to my feet, not daring to look up. I’m terrified of the pain from the stones that will kill me. Please someone throw the first stone, get it over with. Please put me out of my misery now. I don’t deserve to live. I deserve to die.
I hear a gentle thud. Then another, and another. It sounds like heavy rain. Perhaps I can bear to look up and see what is happening.
I don’t believe it! They’re going! I can just see the last few men, walking away through the temple gates. They were all honest after all. I was wrong about them.
Now there is no one but me and the man Jesus. He’s looking at me like...
Oh I’ve never been looked at like this before. It’s like he can really see me. I mean, he can see all the muck, filth and darkness that makes up my life and yet...and yet he is looking at me with such love and compassion. I feel sure he really means it. It’s almost too much. It’s like I’ve walked from a dark room into the blazing sun. This is real love; love like I have never known before.
Now he’s speaking to me. If you could hear a hug, this is what it would sound like. I can’t speak. All I can do it gaze into his eyes; eyes that speak so much of love and acceptance. I struggle to get my words out.
“No sir, I don’t know where they are, and no one is condemning me.”
“Well go on your way then” he says to me “and don’t do this again”
Well, I can tell you there’s no way I’ll ever do it again, no way! I still can’t believe what has just happened!
I should be condemned but I am forgiven.
I should be rejected but I am accepted.
I should be hated but I am loved beyond measure.
My life was in darkness until I met Him, the one true Light.
Thank you Lynda for suggesting we come before the Lord with all our wrong and for bringing this passage to life. God bless you.
This is brilliant writing, Lynda. I love the details e.g. if I could hear a hug this is what it would sound like - inspiring writing. Fresh and new. Thanks for sharing this story in such a powerful way.
Thank you for your comments Sheila and Carolyn. Thank you for the encouragement. God bless you both. Lynda
Great Lynda. We are always in danger of being ready to cast that first stone when we should be on the receiving end (Perhaps I should say I not we ).
Thank you Gordon. I think using we is absolutely right. We are all sinners receiving undeserved mercy. Bless you. Lynda
This was lovely. I loved 'Oh I’ve never been looked at like this before. It’s like he can really see me. I mean, he can see all the muck, filth and darkness that makes up my life and yet...and yet he is looking at me with such love and compassion. I feel sure he really means it. It’s almost too much. It’s like I’ve walked from a dark room into the blazing sun. This is real love; love like I have never known before.' That brought tears to my eyes.
So glad you enjoyed it Anne, and that it touched you. God bless you for reading it.
Welcome to Seeking the Healer
Welcome to my new blog, Seeking the Healer. This is the first in a series of posts called Meeting Jesus, which will look at various people from the Bible who met Jesus and experienced a dramatic change in their life as a result.
Each post will be a short story told from the viewpoint of a person who met Jesus, with a link to the Bible story at the beginning, should you wish to read it in the Bible first. The Bible reference will be a link to take you to the Bible Gateway site, where you can read the passage.