Lent Devotional Day 18

Day 18
Saturday, March 11

John 8:1-11

1 And Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he returned to the temple. All the people gathered around him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The legal experts and Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery. Placing her in the center of the group, 4 they said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. 5 In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone women like this. What do you say?” 6 They said this to test him, because they wanted a reason to bring an accusation against him. Jesus bent down and wrote on the ground with his finger.

7 They continued to question him, so he stood up and replied, “Whoever hasn’t sinned should throw the first stone.” 8 Bending down again, he wrote on the ground. 9 Those who heard him went away, one by one, beginning with the elders. Finally, only Jesus and the woman were left in the middle of the crowd. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Is there no one to condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one, sir.” Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on, don’t sin anymore.”

It’s a wonderful feeling to have someone not only stand up for you, but stand beside you. 

We have all sinned. It’s part of our human nature. I often think of this scripture in tandem with Romans 3:23: “We have all sinned and fall short of God’s glory, but all are treated as righteous freely by a ransom that was paid by Jesus Christ.”  

It doesn’t say anything about one sin being greater than another. This is hard for me. My brain naturally equates greater weight to murder over my lying to my mom about taking $1 from her wallet in 5th grade for a soda. Now, there is a lot to unpack in that, but when Jesus asks that anyone who hasn’t sinned cast the first stone, they realize that they can’t. 

But what I see as the most important lesson here, is that Jesus somehow is standing with both those who want to throw stones AND the woman who is being targeted. He is comforting her and letting those who are full of anger see that he would do it for them too. 

Even though Jesus may not be physically here with us, I encourage you to find those people at home and at work that stand beside you. They help you to see your worth and remind others of the same. We also have a great opportunity to be the embodiment of Jesus and stand with rather than against. 

Lord, thank you for being with us. For reminding us that we have value and purpose. Thank you for the people you send to comfort and support us in moments of pain and weakness. Help us to recognize that we have each sinned in our own way and deserve forgiveness.

By Maggie Lohmeyer
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