In 2014, the world’s collective conscience was shocked when a young Pakistani woman’s own family stoned her to death in an “honor killing.” Her murder took place outside the very courthouse where she had petitioned to marry a man she loved rather than a man her family chose. Her death was raw, barbaric, and jarring.
This same fate awaited the woman caught in adultery in John 8. Customary law was clear—death by stoning. You can imagine her mind and heart racing as the scribes and Pharisees dragged her before Jesus in the temple. A brutal end seemed all but certain ... but then God Himself intervened!
I love what the Apostle John says in the first chapter of his gospel: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14, Aramaic Bible in Plain English).
In her darkest moment, the woman beheld God’s glory, and what she beheld was not condemnation and death, but grace and truth! The Holy Spirit convicted her accusers, and when they all left in shame, Jesus turned to her and said, “Woman, where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you? ... Neither do I condemn you. Now go and sin no more” (John 8:10-11, Berean Study Bible).
The Bible tells us, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17). In other words, God came down Himself to correct the intimidating things His people had heard about Him. The God they perceived as distant, silent, and cold came in the flesh to prove the depth of His love. This is the Good News that you and I have received in our own lives and are called to proclaim to a broken world.
Father, as Your followers, may we be the first to set down our stones. Make us mindful of logs in our own eyes when we are tempted to focus on specks in others’. Help us to show a broken world that You stand for salvation, not condemnation.
by Chilobe Kalambo, HOPE board member & president of Kalambo Consulting