“But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said.’Then neither do I condemn you,”’Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’ -John 8:1-11
John 8:1-11 teaches us a lesson about compassion. Jesus was teaching to a crowd of people and the religious scholars brought a woman before him that was caught committing adultery. The punishment for that crime was a public stoning, so the scholars questioned Jesus about whether or not to stone her in order to follow the law. Now, they were not asking Jesus his perspective because they cared so much for this woman, or even because they thought that the consequence was too harsh. They only asked Jesus in order to try to trap him into not abiding by the law of Moses. Wow! Talk about lack of empathy.
After ignoring them for a while, Jesus finally responded by saying, “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” After her accusers left, Jesus told the woman that he did not condemn her and to not sin again.
When I read this passage, I just fall more in love with Jesus. I want a heart like Christ!
At some point in our daily walk, we may encounter a situation that will lead us to make a bad choice that cause others to point a condemning finger at us. I know that is my story. My chapters are still being written, so I may have some more turning points in my future as well. All I know is thank you Jesus for his forgiving grace towards me!
We have to be careful not to crush the spirit of another person that is in need of empathy and a listening ear. We never know what crossroads we will encounter in life. Since Jesus is able to accept and love us despite our faults, we need to follow his example by showing compassion towards each other, especially our sisters. If you are someone that has been shunned because of a poor choice, just know that Jesus loves you and he is always ready to forgive and to help you move forward in an abundant life in Him!
I used to always get stuck in the emotions of feeling unaccepted. Those emotions would build up inside of me and I would turn to food as a distraction. Recognizing this pattern of behavior was the first step to allowing God to free me from this cycle.
Maybe you don’t use food as a distraction to overeat, but maybe you choose not to eat, to drink, to shop for things that you don’t need, to smoke, to drink in excess, to indulge in promiscuity…. The list can continue. Whatever your vice, these are all coping strategies that are used to TEMPORARILY escape negative feelings. Christ wants to give you a PERMANENT solution. Choose HIM today!
Prayer Starter: Heavenly Father, give me a compassionate heart to love those around me and to see them through your eyes. Allow me to be able to recognize other’s hurts and be used as a vessel to bring healing. When I struggle with the emotions of rejection and unacceptance, help me to turn only to you as my source of healing and not to use temporary fixes. You are my source of renewal and I embrace you today. Amen