As I was recently reading today’s verses I was impacted in a new and fresh way with something I hadn’t thought of before.
Of course I know that Jesus taught that we should forgive, and He also forgives us. And I know the power of that forgiveness. I know too that He’s loving and compassionate. What struck me from the passage was that these qualities must have been a solid part of His character and personality. They weren’t just mentioned in one of His passing sermons. They were who He was (and still is). They must have been obvious to everyone, because they were really annoying to the highly educated, teachers of the Law.
Why were the Pharisees so annoyed with Him that they wanted to trap Him? It was because they were threatened by this love, compassion and forgiveness. Their lives were all about being ‘experts’ on the Laws of the Old Covenant, and their interpretation of those Laws were very harsh. In their striving to keep the Law they managed to put themselves and those they taught into bondage.
The Pharisees knew Jesus would want to be compassionate and forgiving to this woman, and so they hoped He would say that the Law of Moses was wrong. I praise God the Bible says we can have the mind of Christ. This means that we too can have the wisdom that Jesus had in dealing with this situation. He said that the one without sin should throw the first stone.
It’s a great story. And as I read it I realised afresh that love, forgiveness and compassion must have been spilling out of Jesus all the time. That must have been why they were so angry with Him and why they wanted to trip Him up and set a trap for Him. It wasn’t just an intellectual disagreement about a sermon He preached. Yet even when Jesus confronted them He managed to do it in a loving and un-condemning way.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You that Your Holy Spirit shows us new things from Your word every day. Thank You that we can have the mind of Christ, and wisdom from God. And thank You for Your love, compassion and forgiveness. Would You continue to transform us every day to be more like Jesus. Amen.
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