Friday, 4 December 2009

A woman whose life was never the same again (John 8, part 3)

This is the third, and last, of a series of posts on John 8.
The woman's life was never the same again. From that day on there would have been those who whispered as they recalled her shameful journey down the streets to the temple. There would always remain those people who looked down on her because of what she had done. May we never be people who delight in the failure of others! May we never look down on others because of their past!
But I hope it wasn't the shame of that day that was the primary reason her life was never the same again. I hope that it was the fact that she encountered Jesus that made it a life-transforming moment. I hope she grasped the mercy he offered. I hope that her life was turned upside down as she handed it over to God. I hope she came to realise that Jesus took her sin, all her sin, on the cross. I hope her identity was in who she was in Christ. When people dragged up her past I hope that she realised that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Finally, as we read this story I hope we can identify with this woman. I hope we are not like the self-righteous religious leaders who were quick to find the sin in others but reluctant to admit their own guilt. I hope that we realise that without Christ we are desperate sinners whose only hope is to turn for his mercy. The gospel has nothing to offer people who depend on their own righteousness. Jesus said, I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. He despises the claim 'but surely God will accept me because I am a good and respectable person'. I hope that our lives reflect the humility of people who know that they have been saved by grace and that we long to share with others what can be experienced in him!

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