Lift the flap of the tent of time with me and we’ll peek in…
Morning is breaking on the Mount of Olives.
A gentle breeze caresses the grass, evaporating the dew. The birds awake from their slumber with sweet songs to greet the day.
As the horizon releases the sun, soft wisps of amber, rose, coral, and tangerine mingle with the delicate blue sky.
The blush of light filters softly through the leaves of the olive trees, pooling on the ground as ethereal stepping stones, as if welcoming a special visitor to the seclusion and serenity of the mount.
And this morning, a special visitor does come. Jesus spends time in prayer with His Father, and, when He is finished, He leaves His beloved mount of prayer and strolls down to the temple.
People from all around fill the temple to sit in His presence, to listen to Him teach. He sits in their midst but is halted by a rude interruption of the Pharisees (those who are not fair-you-see) and the teachers of the Law who thrust a woman before Him.
They say, “Teacher, this woman was seized in the very act of adultery!”
Ripped right from her private bedroom and dragged into public view.
Was she still naked? And how did they find her? Did someone see her solicit her paramour? Did they peek in a window? Did they eavesdrop? Was this a set up to trap Jesus since the male counterpart of this tryst is missing?
Standing there in the midst of the crowd, she hangs her head to hide the embarrassment turning her face red. Tears fill her eyes as hatred fills her heart. Every eye in the crowd focuses on her.
These self-appointed vigilantes of virtue continue, waving rocks clutched tightly in their fists, and bracing themselves to hurl the missiles of death at her. “Moses’ Law says to stone her. What do you say?”
Ah, it is a trap. In their minds, they wonder if He will let her go, abandoning the Law, or throw the first stone, upholding the Law. They seek no justice, merely some evidence to use against Him.
No answer from Jesus. Just silence. Instead of responding, He squats down and begins writing in the dirt with His finger, ignoring their continued questions. Is He making a list of sins?
The Pharisees and teachers stand there, steaming with spite.
Jesus stands upright, looks accusingly at them all, and commands, “Whoever has not sinned, hurl the first stone!” Again, He stoops down and continues writing in the dirt. This time, it looks like He adds each of their names beside the sins.
Convicted by their consciences, they stumble over their own feet as they backtrack. One by one, they slip away, as a flurry of thuds is heard from stones hitting the ground.
As Jesus straightens up this time, He sees no one but the accused woman standing there, tears streaming down her relieved face.
“Woman, where are those who accuse you? Does no one condemn you?”
Looking into His loving eyes, she says, trembling, “No one, Lord.” Now, what will He say to me?
Gently, He says to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go, now, and leave your life of sin.” And He smiles that glorious, forgiving smile at her.
With sighs of exoneration, she thanks Him profusely as she turns around to leave and start a new life.
Do you have a secret sin that would cause public humiliation for you if others knew about it? The Lord is always waiting, ready to forgive and pardon.
Jesus says to you, “Neither do I condemn you; go, now, and leave your life of sin.”
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive
us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9 ESV