Sunday, March 21, 2010
Jesus And The Woman
As I pass the temple on this particular day, I notice a bit of a commotion. The local scribes and Pharisees seem to be agitated over something yet again. The Man they call Yeshua~ Jesus is also nearby. It seems lately that the scribes and Pharisees are always agitated when Jesus is around.
They are dragging a woman into the center of the square. She is familiar; I have seen her around before. I have also heard of her reputation.
Those in the square begin to pick up rocks. This woman has been caught in the act of adultery and the law states that she should be stoned. I watch this scene in horror. This woman has been dragged through town and now faces death. She seems to know what she has done is wrong; the guilt and shame are written all over her tear~stained face.
The men are about to throw the rocks they have been holding, but before they do Jesus says something that makes them stop. He says that the one without sin should cast the first stone. Now he is bending down and writing something in the sand, but I don't know what He has written. He does this several times, and each time more of the men just drop their stones and walk away. I still can't see what Jesus has written, but they must have!
The woman is now alone with Jesus. I walk a little further away so as not to be noticed, but I can still hear their conversation. Jesus walks over to the woman, lifts her head so that He can look into her eyes, and asks her if there is anyone here who condemns her. She looks around, sees no one but Jesus, and replies : "No one, Lord." Jesus tells her that He too does not condemn her, but to go and sin no more. A hint of a smile seems to appear on her face. Something deep within her knows that she has been forgiven by the only One who can forgive sins. Jesus takes her by the shoulders and gently kisses her forehead. The woman leaves happy and peaceful in the knowledge of being forgiven. Her shame and guilt begin to fade; you can tell by the lightness in her step.
I continue on my way thinking about all I have just witnessed. I think about this woman; I think about my own sins. I realize that I can not judge her for my own sins are just as grave as hers. Perhaps the next time I see Jesus I will find the courage to approach Him and ask, beg Him for healing. He seems to make all things new and whole.
*Reflection based on John 8:1~11.
**Painting by Rembrandt
Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.