Read: John 7:53-8:11
When they kept on questioning Him
He straightened up and said to them,
“If anyone of you is without sin, Let
him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Jesus knew how to clear a room. He was in the temple courts, with many people gathered around Him, when the teachers of the law and the Pharisee’s brought a disheveled and likely ill-clothed woman before Him. Cringing under the onslaught of accusation and shame, she was powerless and robbed of human dignity.
Jesus gave those accustory hypocrites a quick lesson in self-examination. By stooping to write on the ground, He gave them time to cool their (self-) righteous indignation. Imagine them all slinking away one by one, His words ringing in their ears, and not only the Pharisee’s and teachers, but everyone who heard Him. He took the attention off the woman and gave her space to breathe and to think her own thoughts about this Jesus who had defended and saved her.
We sometimes like to bring people, especially family members, to Jesus, so that He can “straighten them out.” But if our prayers and our eyes are focused on people’s faults and foibles, we are not allowing Jesus to deal with them in His own way. We need to give Him, and them the space to meet each other face-to-face.
It’s not that we shouldn’t pray for others, especially those who indulge in obvious sin. We should bring them to Jesus. But we need to view their sin in the wise and loving way Jesus did, putting the emphasis on His ability to love, forgive and redeem them in the same way He confronts us with our sin. If we wrap people in straitjackets of blame and judgment, there is no room for them to change or grow; we back them into a corner, where their human instinct to defend themselves keeps them prisoner. Instead we should move away and leave space for grace, God’s grace. _Ruth A. Dejager
Prayer: Lord Jesus, when we bring family members to you in prayer, remind us to have an attitude of gentleness and non-judgment. Help us to remember that it is you who can change hearts, and minds and that your wisdom is supreme. Amen!! Amen!!