Cleanse your heart and rise with Jesus

The story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11 consoles and warns us as well.
Through the voice of our conscience we recognize that adultery and prostitution are wrong and immoral.
It is totally against fidelity and human dignity (1 Corinthians 6:15-20). When we judge those people, we have to look out for the ditch into which the Pharisees and the teachers of the law fell.
The Pharisees and the teachers of the law trapped Jesus, so that they could accuse him. If Jesus forbids stoning her, he will disobey God’s law. On the other hand, if Jesus allows them to stone her, he will disobey Roman law, because at that time only the Roman authority could order stoning her.
To those accusers Jesus said, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7) and showed his position when he bent down and wrote on the ground with his finger. We do not know what Jesus actually wrote, but probably in his position Jesus refused to stand at the same level of the accusers who behaved as if they were worthy to condemn the evildoer. Jesus might have wanted to teach humility to the people when he bent down.
Interestingly, in the Old Testament the betrayal of the Israelites to the love of God was compared to adultery or prostitution. God says, “I divorced Israel and sent her away because she had turned from Me and had become a prostitute.” (Jeremiah 3:8) How can we say that our infidelity to God is much better than prostitution or adultery?
When the people brought the adulteress before Jesus, he knew the contradiction in their actions, for the Law of Moses clearly says, “If a man commits adultery with the wife of a fellow Israelite, both he and the woman shall be put to death.” (Leviticus 20:10) Or, “Suppose a man is caught in a town having intercourse with a girl who is engaged to someone else. You are to take them outside and stone them to death.” (Deuteronomy 22:25)
As you notice, in front of Jesus there was no person present who committed adultery with that woman. In this sense, the accusation of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law was totally unfair and unjust.
Besides, Jesus uncovers the egotism of the men when he said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ But now I tell you: anyone who looks at a woman and wants to possess her is guilty of committing adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28) If so, how many of us can say, “I am not a sinner?” On another occasion Jesus said, “You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5) If we have the heart of mercy, we will be able to judge others more correctly.
Through the happening of the adulteress Jesus seems to have wanted to teach us that sharing the pain and sorrow of sinners was much greater than condemning them. Indeed, “God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior.” (John 3:17)
Jesus said to the woman, “I do not condemn you either. Go, but do not sin again.” (John 8:11) Jesus encouraged the woman to start a new life, instead of condemning her sin or guilt. Jesus looked into the bottom of her heart, not just the surface of her life.
The surface of the lake looks clean. But under it the water is often dirty with trash and slime. Our hearts are like a lake. As we go down into the depths of our own hearts, we will immediately find the slime such as hatred, haughtiness, jealousy, betrayal and so forth. However, when we reach the bottom of our hearts we surely will find beneath the slime – a natural and clean spring water which God has prepared for us.
With his cross Jesus sinks down to the bottom of our hearts and cleanses us. Whoever goes into the depth of his/her heart and encounters the crucified Jesus will rise with Him.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login