Byproducts of the World
The Bible is not a work of fiction. It is true.
The characters that make up its many stories were real people with thoughts and feelings much like our own. The Bible is arguably the only book of antiquity to record the history of unremarkable people. In its pages we can learn intimate details about people who would have been completely over looked by other sources of history. These facts allow the reader to see himself or herself in its pages. The Bible is not filled with superheroes that are the craftsmanship of an author. Neither is it filled with only the deeds of the great and powerful, but it is comprised of real people, in real situations, interacting with a real God. It is our model. It is our guide. And we can see our reflection when we open its pages.
It is important to keep these things in mind when we look at the story of the woman taken in adultery. She was a real person. She was someone who would have been lost to history had it not been for this drama. She is a person not unlike you or I. Her story is sensational, but behind the dramatic details a story begins to emerge that is much more common.
Imagine what it would feel like to be placed in the middle of a room full of people and your mistake broadcast to everyone present. She was no doubt humiliated. Sin has a way of humiliating a person. But notice that God was not behind this humiliation. The woman was there because the Pharisees had no doubt laid a trap for her. They had not brought her there to defend the law, as they claimed, but rather to tempt Jesus. (John 8:6) She was simply collateral damage. They didn't care about her, her sin, or the law. They had one objective in mind, to destroy the work of God.
This is indicative of the way the world operates. The spirit of the age pushes its agenda with no concern for the individual lives that it ruins. Movies are produced, songs are written, legislation is passed, websites are launched, and videos are posted with one purpose, to destroy the work of God on the earth. And common people like us can become trapped in its web to be humiliated and accused by the very spirit and force that trapped us. One might say, “this is unfair. I have been wronged.” But this woman said nothing. She never protested. She stood condemned. No doubt her heart throbbed as she waited to see what Jesus would say.
As much as the world sees people as insignificant pawns in their agenda, Jesus sees an individual with value.
What the world could never possibly understand is that Jesus was come to earth not to conquer and reign as a worldly king. But rather he came to reach people just like the woman they were using. Jesus first dispersed the mob by appealing to their own conscience and reminding them that He was the only righteous judge. But then we see this moment where the Bible says that Jesus was alone with the woman. No doubt what happened next changed her life forever. He asks her where were her accusers? And was there any man that condemned her? She answers simply, “No man, Lord.” Finally Jesus concludes with words that most likely stayed with this woman forever. “Neither do I condemn thee. Go and sin no more.”
She was forced by the enemy to stand condemned before the righteous judge. But what they didn't know was that Jesus would soon stand condemned in her place.
They were twisting the law to fit their agenda, but Jesus came to fulfill the law. She had no defense to offer. She was guilty. She stood silent. Just as Jesus would later stand silent before the judge. Not because he was guilty but because she was guilty. Because I was guilty. Because you were guilty. The world drove her to the most vulnerable place she could be and that is exactly where Jesus was waiting on her. Sound familiar?
That moment where we stand condemned before God in true repentance is the greatest day of our lives. What started as a trap, an abuse, a mistake, a tragedy can end with an encounter with the savior that will leave us forever changed. Don't stay a byproduct of this world. Repent. It works.
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