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Are we God or His servant?

May 2, 2013

This is a pretty simple question that I am certain that if you profess Christianity you will have an immediate and confident answer. Today I have read much on an issue that is much larger than our area of control, ourselves. I know that I find myself delving into areas where I am clearly “above my pay grade”. It is human nature.

I can’t help but consider John 8 when I am placed in the position to exam sin. I try to go to the source when dealing with what are definitely difficult problems. We sin and it abounds around us. I see sin within myself. It is a battleground that requires Devine help and guidance for without it we are as likely to harm as to help.

The book of John provides me great comfort in these areas. Jesus’ words to us inspire and provide insight; they teach us and show us God’s love. Chapter 8, in many Bibles, starts with Jesus being challenged by the religious authority of the time as to how He should instruct them to handle a clearly common occurrence that had but one solution under Mosaic Law. The solution to be rendered for adulterous behavior was stoning.

I know that there are some of that when reading this would argue whether these passages should even be included in the Bible. I ask you to consider the fact that in most translations they are included and there are some that do not put the disclaimer that they had not been included in earlier translations.

John 8

New International Version (NIV)

8 1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

When I read this passage I can apply it to my life. I think about what it meant for Jesus to stand before a crowd of angry people with rocks in their hands. They were prepared to throw their condemnation on that woman. As I have thrown my condemnation on those sinners that stand about me. Sin is a very personal problem. It is easy for us to point at the sins of others and stand and be morally outraged.

Sin in a public forum is a devastating event. I know that all too well. To look at anyone that is living in sin and expect them to respond and repent because of something that I have done is the same as me claiming to be God. I have judged others. My judgment has shut down any means of being able to reach that person. It makes me unable to see what God sees within them.

The condemnation of a behavior may be just, it may be right. The end result though is that God hold those accountable, does he not? If some one is seeking and they are living in sin, do we not offer them a light to help them from the darkness? I look back at the beginning of my journey with the Lord. The twists and turns that the path has taken. A path filled with stepping stones and stumbling blocks. Some how I have made it this far and my eyes are opened to new and exciting things every day.

Explaining what is sin, is not necessary. Those that God has touched know it and revile it. Some may struggle greatly with it and will not by as successful as we believe that they should be. Pointing to the sinner and telling them they will not be saved unless they repent does not bring them to Christ. Jesus does that alone. He stands and forgives, and then waits and continues to write. His command is then to go and sin no more.

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