The Meaning of Grace

Story: The Unloved Woman

John 8:1-11

   Continuing in the book of John, Jesus traveled to the temple in Jerusalem and when he came to the temple many came to hear him teach. However, the Pharisees wanted to test and trap Jesus, so they brought a woman before him who had committed adultery. The law of Moses required the woman to be stoned, but they wanted Jesus to deny the rule so they could arrest him for disobeying the law. Some time passed and they continued to question him before Jesus responded with the words, “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone”(verse 7). Sure enough, the same people who had raised stones against her dropped them at their feet and walked away. Jesus and the woman remained, and he sent her on her way saying “go and sin no more”(verse 11).

For the wages of sin is death…“ Romans-6:23

   The woman clearly deserved death, yet Jesus showed her grace but why would he do this? Grace is not about tolerating or merely forgiving sin, it is about receiving God’s love and mercy even though we don’t deserve it. The Pharisees tried to trap Jesus into disobeying the law but instead, he called for the woman to be stoned by the people who were free of sin, and only he was free of sin. They all dropped their stones, not out of grace but shame, because they knew they were sinners and could not bring judgment upon a woman who was no worse than them.

“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on another. For on whatever grounds you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.“– Romans 2:1

   We live in a world today where grace is in short supply, where people are more concerned about being right than ministering to others. Jesus did not condemn the adulterous woman to her sins, he wanted her to be free from sin. He said “sin no more” because he knew it could be done. Knowing we are free brings life to us and begins to transform us into the person God means for us to be.

   The same way Jesus showed grace to the Samaritan woman from last week’s post changed her from a life of sin to spreading the gospel. The very town that once despised her now experienced an extraordinary change. All because God showed her grace when she didn’t deserve it.

“The wages of Sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. “– Romans 6:23

    Even though we are imperfect and fall short of God, Jesus dying on the cross was the ultimate form of grace. He showed us what it was like to no longer be a slave to sin, but to be free to love and live in him.

2 thoughts on “The Meaning of Grace

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