Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Does Jesus Pass the Test?

 This post is linked to Women in the Word Wednesdays.

It's a typical Sabbath and the dedicated and religious make their way to the place of worship. Jesus is teaching today, but some in the audience are not focusing on what they can learn from Him. They decide that class should be over and that it is time for the test. However, they have no need of tests. They have passed all the tests, haven't they? And with high marks? Of course, when one does his own grading, the results may be a big skewed, but they don't concern themselves with that.

No, today the test is for Jesus, and they are the eager administrators. With great fanfare, they produce Exhibit A. She is nothing to them, however she is necessary for their goal. The goal of finally bringing Jesus to the place where He fails a test--has no answer in the face of their cunning and superior knowledge of the law.

There she is--thrust into the midst of the shocked worshipers; eyes downcast, face burning with shame. The group of religious leaders surround her and face Jesus, challenging Him: Would He uphold the law or defend the sinner? They had caught her in the very act of adultery--a sin for which the law demanded death by stoning. Very clear. Their eyes look to Jesus: mocking, questioning. What does He say?

He stoops, writes on the ground, completely ignores them. They persist in their questioning, even though the question is all wrong. He doesn't deny the law--He only reminds them of its purpose. The sinner must be put to death to purge evil from our midst. He stands and faces them. Go ahead, the righteous one among you, begin judgment.

Again, He stoops, as if He doesn't care the slightest bit what they decide. But He does. He knows. He knows her repentant heart. He knows the conviction that will seize the one who was her partner in crime. He knows the unwillingness of the others to expose their peer's sin when they only want to expose Jesus.

But Jesus has nothing to hide, nothing hidden to expose. Only purpose. His purpose is not to destroy life but to give His own. Not to use the law for selfish gain but to serve others. Not to condemn but to save.

The test is over. He did not pass it. He did not fail it. He only showed them all that it is the wrong test.

*My personal thoughts about John 8. Please be advised I'm not a theologian, only a student of the Word.

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