March 24 – Gospel Readthrough – John 8

Read John 8:1-59

I love teaching little kids, but what I don’t like about it is all the tattling.  It is OK for kids to report to me if someone is sick, hurt, or is going to be hurt as that would be helpful.  But 99% of the time, the report is only given to get someone else in trouble and for the reporter to feel important.

Tattling and pointing fingers doesn’t stop at childhood.  In adulthood, it is called gossip.  Gossip has been big business for many years with thousands of people wanting to know of the sins and missteps of others, especially Hollywood stars and personalities.  But it doesn’t take a Hollywood address for you to find yourself a victim of gossip.  

Everyone is vulnerable!

Why do people find gossip so exciting?  Does it make them feel superior? Are they thinking, “I would never do that?”  Or, “I hope my friends never find out about MY secrets!”  Or more likely, are they thinking “If they are talking about ____, they won’t be talking about me!”  

This is what was happening to the woman brought to Jesus in our reading today.  The accusers weren’t trying to bring her to Him for help, but were using her to trap Jesus and, in their own minds, elevate their righteousness.  

She had been caught in the act of adultery.  How she was caught, who caught her, what in her life lead her to this behavior or what happened to the man involved, we do not know.  Her accusers didn’t care about anything but being right – to the point they were willing to actually participate in her stoning!  They were her judge, jury and executioners! 

Instead of help, they only offered condemnation. 

When Jesus pointed His finger, it wasn’t at a person but at the ground where He quietly, privately wrote something in the sand.   Wouldn’t you like to know what it was He wrote?  Whatever it was, it was between them and God!  

Jesus obviously thought what He wrote wasn’t important for us to know.  If He had made it public, would He have been any different than the accusers? God, alone, was their judge.  The sad part about it was that, instead of asking for forgiveness that Jesus would have willingly given, they walked away. 

People are going to mess up in life and make bad decisions as no one is perfect.  It is not our job to point out their failures but to walk alongside of those who are struggling.  We need to offer them a helping hand, a listening ear and introduce them to our friend, Jesus.

Pointing fingers is never a good thing to do. Remember, when you find yourself hearing gossip that, when you are pointing a finger at others, there are always 3 of your own fingers pointing right back at you!

Jesus is offering forgiveness. Don’t walk away!

Pat Arnold

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