Monday, July 30

An Embarrassing Moment Before a Crowd

Lift the flap of the tent of time with me and we’ll peek in...

Morning is breaking on the Mount of Olives.

A gentle breeze caresses the grass, evaporating the dew. The birds awake from their slumber with sweet songs to greet the day.

As the horizon releases the sun, soft wisps of amber, rose, coral, and tangerine mingle with the delicate blue sky.

The blush of light filters softly through the leaves of the olive trees, pooling on the ground as ethereal stepping stones, as if welcoming a special visitor to the seclusion and serenity of the mount.

And this morning, a special visitor does come. Jesus spends time in prayer with His Father, and, when He is finished, He leaves His beloved mount of prayer and strolls down to the temple.

People from all around fill the temple to sit in His presence, to listen to Him teach. He sits in their midst but is halted by a rude interruption of the Pharisees (those who are not fair-you-see) and the teachers of the Law who thrust a woman before Him.

They say, “Teacher, this woman was seized in the very act of adultery!”

Ripped right from her private bedroom and dragged into public view.

Was she still naked? And how did they find her? Did someone see her solicit her paramour? Did they peek in a window? Did they eavesdrop? Was this a set up to trap Jesus since the male counterpart of this tryst is missing?

Standing there in the midst of the crowd, she hangs her head to hide the embarrassment turning her face red. Tears fill her eyes as hatred fills her heart. Every eye in the crowd focuses on her.

These self-appointed vigilantes of virtue continue, waving rocks clutched tightly in their fists, and bracing themselves to hurl the missiles of death at her. “Moses’ Law says to stone her. What do you say?”

Ah, it is a trap. In their minds, they wonder if He will let her go, abandoning the Law, or throw the first stone, upholding the Law. They seek no justice, merely some evidence to use against Him.

No answer from Jesus. Just silence. Instead of responding, He squats down and begins writing in the dirt with His finger, ignoring their continued questions. Is He making a list of sins?

The Pharisees and teachers stand there, steaming with spite.

Jesus stands upright, looks accusingly at them all, and commands, “Whoever has not sinned, hurl the first stone!” Again, He stoops down and continues writing in the dirt. This time, it looks like He adds each of their names beside the sins.

Convicted by their consciences, they stumble over their own feet as they backtrack. One by one, they slip away, as a flurry of thuds is heard from stones hitting the ground.

As Jesus straightens up this time, He sees no one but the accused woman standing there, tears streaming down her relieved face.

“Woman, where are those who accuse you? Does no one condemn you?”

Looking into His loving eyes, she says, trembling, “No one, Lord.” Now, what will He say to me?

Gently, He says to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go, now, and leave your life of sin.” And He smiles that glorious, forgiving smile at her.

With sighs of exoneration, she thanks Him profusely as she turns around to leave and start a new life.

Do you have a secret sin that would cause public humiliation for you if others knew about it? The Lord is always waiting, ready to forgive and pardon.

Jesus says to you, “Neither do I condemn you; go, now, and leave your life of sin.”

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive
us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 ESV

On In Around button


29 Responses
  1. I've always enjoyed this passage in the Bible because it reflects Jesus' compassion for the sinner. You've illustrated it beautifully. (Visiting from OYHT blog hop.)

  2. I love this story too because it shows the grace of Jesus and the second chances he gives us all.

    Thinking now about what secret sin I need to confess...

  3. Jen Ferguson Says:

    This story hits me every time I read it. You have retold it beautifully and your encouragement blesses so many hearts!

  4. Suzie Tors Says:

    This has always been one of my favorite stories because it so clearly shows the absolute compassion of Jesus. I love the way you bring these passages to life; it's almost just like being there. Thank you for being such a blessing.

  5. Pamela Says:

    Those words get me every time, "neither do I condemn thee." Just like that--no condemnation from the past, just an admonition to go and sin no more. I love your story telling ability.

  6. Jean Wise Says:

    wow Lynn, you really made this story come alive. I felt like I was right there. Such grace and encouragement today. Thank you

  7. Thank you for this, Lynn. It's so beautifully written and so poignant. God has blessed us through your writing!

  8. lynnmosher Says:

    Laura, thanks so much for visiting. I appreciate your generous comment. Bless you!

  9. lynnmosher Says:

    So true, Lisa! What would we do without second chances? Whew! Thanks so much for taking time to read and comment. I appreciate it. Blessings to you!

  10. lynnmosher Says:

    Hey, Jen! So happy to see you. I'm honored your stopped by. Thanks for your generous words. Bless you!

  11. lynnmosher Says:

    Such a great compliment! Thank you so much, Suzie! Blessings to you!

  12. lynnmosher Says:

    Pamela, aren't those great words? Neither do I condemn thee! Awesome! Thanks you so much for your kind comment. Bless you!

  13. lynnmosher Says:

    No greater compliment could one receive. Thank you, sweet Jean! You make my heart happy! Bless you!

  14. lynnmosher Says:

    Carol, you always bless me with your generous comments. Such humbling words. Bless you!

  15. As always, Lynn, you so beautifully paint a picture with your words.
    Blessings dear friend,

  16. My favorite scene in the movie the Gospel of John! Thanks Lynn for another beautiful post.

    YOu did a beautiful job retelling this story from John! Thank you!

  18. lynnmosher Says:

    Thanks so much, sweet Marja! You always bless me! Bless you!

  19. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, Yvonne! I am so honored to have you visit. Thank you so much for your kind words. Blessings to you!

  20. Pam Mosher Says:

    Lynn, always blessed to read your "heart words"! The Mercy and Compassion of Christ~may we never run out of "heart words" to verbally express our thankfulness for Christ's love for us! Pam

  21. Gigi Says:

    I've had so many public moments of embarrassment because I'm so accident prone but I can't imagine being publicly scorned and ridiculed. I'm glad we serve a God who forgives and forgets. Your story was so beautiful...You always "paint" the most amazing pictures as you tell the story.

  22. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, amen, Pam! Thank you, dear one, for taking time to read and comment. I'm always happy to see you here. Blessings to you!

  23. lynnmosher Says:

    LOL Oh, sweet Gigi, I cannot imagine a graceful ballerina being accident prone! Oh, yes, I'm so glad He forgives and forgets. So happy to see you. Thank you for leaving a comment. Love you!

  24. This is a wonderful example of forgiveness and you painted a wonderful word picture!

  25. Lynn, you have eloquent illustrated we do not need to live in fear if we repent of our sins. Even should we fail again and again, He will forgive us, as long as we are truly trying to live according to His will. Wonderful post, Lynn. Beautifully written.

  26. lynnmosher Says:

    Hey, Sherry! So glad to see you! Thanks so much for visiting and commenting. I deeply appreciate your kind words. Bless you!

  27. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, Ceci, thank you for your generous words. You make my heart so happy. Bless you!

  28. Lynn, I am popping over from Dana Pittman's link up. I am so glad to have found your blog for you have a gift of bringing the scripture alive!

    I've read and heard this story many times but never in such a way that placed me in the scene.

    If you have time we'd love to have you on my Tuesday Destination: Inspiration linky party on Teagan's Travels.

    Blessings, Michelle3

  29. lynnmosher Says:

    Hello, Michelle! I'm so honored you dropped by. Thank you so much for your generous and kind words. You bless me! I shall stop by for sure. Blessings to you!