He was ten-years-old when he propped those screws up against the tire. Equal measures of boredom and curiosity set his experiment into motion. Would a screw pierce the tire’s thick rubber? There was only one way to find out.
He punctured the tire three times. Three times, we limped to the mechanic’s shop for a patch. Three times, he saw the damage, inconvenience, and interruption to our day, but he never connected the flat tire to his experiment until the mechanic handed over the evidence.
His brother encouraged him to tell because “It is always better to tell”.
It took him a few days to work up the courage. Finally, he spoke the hard truth. He risked everything on the genuineness of our family mantra. “We own our mistakes, say we are sorry, never stay angry, and always forgive.” With trembling lips, he confessed, and then he waited to see if our refrain was true. Forgiveness, should he receive it, was undeserved, unmerited, and unearned.
There is a woman in Scripture who finds herself in a similar place. Forgiveness, should she receive it, is undeserved, unmerited, and unearned. If you read her complete story in John 8:1-11, you’ll see that she is merely a pawn used by the scribes and Pharisees. They don’t expose her sin for the purpose of restoration. No one encourages her to tell because “it is always better to tell.” The leaders that should have been concerned with her spiritual health use her to trap Jesus. If Christ extends grace to the woman, he fails to adhere to the law. If Christ proclaims judgment, it undermines the foundation of his entire ministry. The scribes and Pharisees care more about disqualifying Christ’s ministry than this woman’s life. She’s positioned, trembling before the One who stands between life and death. Is His mantra true? Had he really come to seek and save the lost?
Like this woman, we have an accuser who is most interested in thwarting God’s plan of redemption. His goal is destroying the ministry of Christ and the reputation and lives of His followers. Only one person stands between life and death. He is the only One worthy of casting a stone, but He doesn’t. Instead, He calls us to humble repentance and offers His life in exchange for ours. This woman remained vulnerable and exposed before Christ. Jesus could have been harsh with her because the law would have allowed it, but instead, He offers grace along with the command to sin no more.
Wherever your ministry takes you this week, remain humble before Jesus. Resist the temptation to cast stones, and instead offer grace.