by Buzz Dahlen
Obviously, one of Jesus’ greatest concerns was forgiveness. He came so that the world could be forgiven of their sins and so it should not surprise us to know that He wants us to forgive each other. So, why don’t we forgive each other? A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the servant that did not appreciate the fact that he had been forgiven so much. That’s one reason for sure. But another reason is that we tend to forget that we are not without sin ourselves.
John tells of a time when Jesus was challenged by the local teachers and Pharisees…
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, "If any one of you is without sin, let him 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. 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 8:2-11
No one knows for sure what Jesus wrote on the ground with His finger. Many speculate that he was writing the sins of those who were there holding the stones. One by one, as they realized their own sins, they dropped their stone and left.
The point that Jesus is making to them and to us is that we all sin, therefore no one has the right to stand in the position of judge, jury and executioner. It is easy to take that position because when we focus on the sins of others our sins are typically not considered.
Paul writes in his letter to the Romans: You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance? Romans 2:2-4
Isn’t it amazing how are sin looks so much worse when some else is committing it? None of us has any place to judge anyone else. …for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… Romans 3:23
My encouragement, look at the sin in your own life before you start throwing stones at others for the sin in their lives. Then we will be freer to follow Jesus’ words of advice; "Go now and leave your life of sin."