I do not know how many times I had read the familiar story of the woman caught in adultery in John chapter 8, but a week ago when I read through the passage, especially the line where Jesus was saying to the woman, "Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and and leave your life of sin," I was deeply touched by its beauty. I wrote down in my journal that day, "In my mind that's the most beautiful words anyone could have said to a woman caught in the act of sin. Never before in Jewish history had anyone let go an adulterous woman free like that."
The Law required any adulterer or adulteress to be put to death (Leviticus20:10.) The scribes and the leaders of the Law who dragged the woman and brought her before Jesus knew the scripture well enough to accuse and humiliate her before the crowd. Self-righteousness must have blinded their eyes to make them feel superior, and to be insensitive to woman's plea for pity. To their shock, the Law Giver chose Grace over judgement, and made them to face their own guilt. Little did they realize that in God's eyes, the sins they harbor in their hearts looked no different from the sin the woman had committed. At that place, Jesus revealed the tender heart of God for all generations to see.
I wonder what Jesus would say to those who call themselves Christians, but who stand on street corners carrying huge banners that say " God hates Gays and He laughs when Gays die" or to those people who mock and condemn those who act differently, worship differently or think differently.
Jesus, who chose to dine and fellowship with tax collectors and outcasts of the society in order to bring them into His fold, surely expects His followers to extend grace to those who need it. Judgement belongs to Christ alone. Let us be cautious to not to cross the boundary line, and declare in our self-righteousness, who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. That right belongs to our Saviour, who bled profusely on the Cross at Calvary to save all mankind.
Calvary love speaks of nothing, but Amazing Grace. The agony of hanging on the cross with parched throat, and nail pierced limbs, and thorns pricked forehead, didn’t make the King of kings to curse the thief who scoffed at Him, or ignore the other thief who asked for forgiveness at the last hour of his life. That is Grace! Pure and beautiful. We, who are saved by His beautiful grace are called to wriggle out of self-righteous attitude and show grace to all who need it. Because Grace is so beautiful, it would captivate those whom we minister, and drive them towards the One who displayed Amazing Grace on Calvary!