Have you ever received a gift that you just didn’t deserve? One that you almost thought about giving back? Can you imagine being a little kid, and hoping that Santa would bring you this one toy that you’ve been wishing and dreaming for. You open it up on Christmas morning, and your father says, “We wanted to get this for you since you’ve gotten such good grades this year, and really been nice to your sister.” Neither of the statements are true, but you really want this gift. Do you admit Many of us may have had a fleeting though, but never actually gave it back. We are so willing to take what others give without stopping to think about whether or not we deserve it or not.
In John 8:1-11, we see the infamous story of Jesus with the woman caught in adultery:
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.”
Can you imagine her first thought when the Lord first asks her? Is she tempted to lie? Does she worry that He knows her thoughts?
I just love how Jesus handles this situation. He shows so much of His character. He is a merciful and gracious God. He doesn’t respond to her accusers with an angry response. He is calm and collected.
Jesus is merciful. Spend some time today thanking Him for being merciful, and for the many ways He’s been merciful to you. Ask Him to show you where you might need to be calm and collected and show mercy to someone who does not deserve forgiveness or grace.
Have more time? Want to go deeper?
- Spend some time in confession, and asking God for forgiveness. We don’t like to see our sin, but it’s healthy to confess and share with the Lord what’s on our hearts to help us be more like Him.
- The holiday season is a time for forgiveness for a lot of people, especially as family and friends get together. Is there someone in your life that you need to forgive and show mercy to? How might God be changing your heart to do that? Spend some time in prayer, and seek His thoughts to show you where you might need to show mercy as well as how you should show it.