30 Mar He Chose to Reject Condemnation (Forty Days with Jesus – Day 36, Mar 30)
Read John 8:2-11
Thought for the Day: Instead of judging, we need to drop the stone!
Drop the stone! We all find ourselves in situations where we mistakenly believe it is OK to judge others. It’s not. In the Ancient World, crowds of people would gather together, judge a person for supposed wrongdoing, and stone them to death. Then during the Reign of Terror in France, 15,000+ individuals were executed by the guillotine in a two-year period. In both cases, this judgement set a dangerous precedent: if groups of people could pass judgment in one political climate, they themselves could be subject to similar judgment when the winds shifted. Of course, Robispierre and some of the others who initiated the Reign of Terror eventually found themselves on the receiving end of the guillotine.
Jesus found Himself face to face with a group seeking to carry out judgment on a woman who had been caught in adultery. However, He did not initiate a stoning, famously declaring, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” Unable to pass this test, the crowd dispersed one-by-one until it was only Jesus and the young woman who remained. But while He would have been justified under Old Testament Law to proceed, He chose to reject condemnation and freed her of judgment.
For a moment, it can seem like judging others solves problems. It doesn’t. Drop the stone. Jesus did and we need to as well. He could have chosen condemnation but instead He showed grace. Are we brave enough to do the same?
Reflect & Pray – Do I desire to judge others? Am I willing to let go of this and instead follow Jesus’ example? God, please forgive me of the times when I would rather judge my neighbor than humbly follow You!