Taking Sides

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Last week on the Timothy’s Gift Hope Tour, Melissa shared at each prison a beautiful message from John 8. We probably know or at least recognize the story…

 Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

As Melissa told the story, she asked us to consider something that I have never considered before.

What was Jesus was drawing in the earth?

Whatever it was, it was something with enough significance to be mentioned twice in the short passage.

Melissa suggested that maybe it was a line he was tracing with his finger.

Was it a line giving the Pharisees just what they always wanted? A line establishing a clear divide, a clear separation, from those who so obviously had done wrong?

And maybe, just maybe, Jesus astonished the Pharisees as he remained on the “unholy” side of the line? Regardless He protected the adulteress from the self-righteous who where so quick to cast judgement and pick up stones. His words calling the Pharisees out on their sin and their condemnation. Then He knelt down and wrote on the ground again.

And as he did that, the men – one by one, older ones first – walked away defeated, and probably more than a little incensed.

Hearing this story in each prison we visited, I couldn’t help but think…

I want to be on the side of the line with Jesus. I want to be on the side of the line with the inmates. I want to be on the side of the line with those who make no pretense about the mistakes they’ve made and the life they’ve lived. {Because Lord only knows the mistakes I’ve made and the life I’ve lived.} And I want to be on the side of the line with those who are desperate for hope and healing just like me.

I have no right to be a judge or a jury. I only hope I can learn to be like Jesus.

And love well.

With grace and truth. With protection and conviction. With hope and healing.

What stands out to you as you reread this story? 

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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  • Rev Jon Simone

    Lindsey, thank you for posting this. The world needs to realize that we all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God. Most of the people in jails & prisons are no different than any other person. The only difference is they were caught! Keep on spreading the Good News

    • lindseyrnobles

      So true Rev Jon!