The Sound of Grace

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As a part of the Hello Mornings Summer Session we are studying the book of John. I am loving this because we started at the beginning of the book and are reading 15 or so verses each morning and then really taking time to think about what was happening, who Jesus was and the promises we can see about Him.

Today we read John 7:51-8:11. 

[The most ancient Greek manuscripts do not include John 7:53–8:11.]

53 Then the meeting broke up, and everybody went home.

A Woman Caught in Adultery

8 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

9 When the 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. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

11 “No, Lord,” she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

I shared with my group about a dramatic skit that I had seen by Nicole Johnson at a Women of Faith event several years ago. Even today it sticks with me. (I would love to someday learn and perform it, it is that moving)

She gave her perception of the woman’s view. Here she was caught in adultery, and she knew the punishment for her crime.  An angry mob of men drag her out into the street and tempt to bait Jesus. I can imagine this crowd angry and waiting for Jesus to give them the go ahead to carry out this woman’s fate.

And then there is Jesus. Kneeling in the ground and writing in the sand. We don’t know what He was writing, but I shared this morning that I like to think maybe He was writing THIS is why I came, THIS is why you all need the grace that only I can give.

The woman is crouched on the ground in anticipation of what is next, waiting for the first stone to hit. Can you even imagine the fear she must have felt?

The crowd becomes more intense and demand that Jesus answer them. He stands up and saysAll right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”

Bracing herself, she waits…..

And then she hears the most amazing sound.

THUD, THUD…..THUD, THUD, THUD.

One by one the men drop their rocks and leave. Until the only one that remains is Jesus.

As she looks up at Him, this gentle Savior, he asks where her accusers are, didn’t even one condemn you?

And she replies “No”…

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

What an encounter.

A woman, sin filled, rescued by the Son of God….with the simple THUD of grace.

I am not that different from that woman.

While adultery is not my sin….I certainly have my own list of sins that I could share. Especially when it comes to my marriage, I often find myself giving Dominic the “worst” of me and not the best.  It is even harder when we work together every day.  While there are many benefits, tensions can arise and I am stubborn. (I know, hard to believe right?) 😉

I can argue my point of view and yet be completely wrong, but “justified” in my own mind about my rightness. It isn’t a quality I am proud of and something that I continue to ask God to refine in me.

But Dominic is good about offering me grace, and on an almost daily basis, I experience my own THUD’s of grace.

I am so grateful that Jesus gave us this example. It is a reminder that I should not cast the first stone because I too have sin in my life. But along with the grace is a challenge. “Then go and sin no more!”

THIS is where I need refinement and accountability. And I am grateful that I can share these messy parts of my life here to hopefully continue to move forward.

I have to wonder how that woman was changed after this encounter with Jesus. And I ask myself why I am not profoundly changed by His grace every day.

It is something to be mindful of and prayerful about. A true change of my heart, a heart that has been impacted by the sound of grace.

How have you experienced the sounds of grace?

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2 thoughts on “The Sound of Grace

  1. alecia
    Twitter:

    You’ve challenged me today to let my own husband see the “best” in me instead of the worst, which he probably gets most of the time. What a powerful story in John, I am loving the journey through this book of the bible.

    Reply

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