TODAY is the launch of our SHE HEARD Online Small Group!
We're so excited to begin studying the devotional we wrote about how to serve the Lord by being who you are, where you are!
Want to join us for 9 weeks as we dig into scripture and meet 8 incredible Biblical women and 8 amazing women from current-day who have done some BIG things for the Lord simply by being who they were? Yes?? Then click HERE!
Should you choose to forego the Facebook group, please come here each week to read a fresh perspective on each Biblical woman written by our readers!
Were so so excited to get started!
GOOD NEWS!! WE'RE THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE OUR ONLINE SMALL GROUP FOR SHE HEARD!
Join us beginning May 2, 2016 for a 9-week Online study of 8 extraordinary women from the Bible and 8 amazing current-day women who served the Lord mightily by being who they were, where they were.
In the study we discuss:
Do you think women from 2,000+ years ago have nothing in common with us today? In addition to bringing the women from scripture to life and seeing them as more than ink on a page, we also feature 8 current-day women who gave God what little they had and watched Him multiply their efforts as only He can. The current-Day women we'll meet are:
Each "chapter" is small and read-able in one sitting. Each woman also features "DIGGING DEEPER" questions to promote deeper thinking, self reflection, and conversation.
This study is FREE, although you'll want to grab your copy of SHE HEARD to get the most out of the study.
The printed and bound copy that's 8.5x11", full color is available HERE.
The PDF version of SHE HEARD that you will have to print yourself is HERE.
To register for the small group, click HERE.
In addition, we're hosting a closed group on Facebook for additional conversation and some fun freebies! The link to join will pop up once you've registered above!
Read: Luke 7:36-50
Unless otherwise noted all scripture is taken from the NIV.
“When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.’
Jesus answered him, ‘Simon, I have something to tell you.’
‘Tell me, teacher,’ he said.
‘Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?’
Simon replied, ‘I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.’
‘You have judged correctly,’ Jesus said.
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.’
Then Jesus said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’
The other guests began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’
Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’"
This section of scripture is jam-packed! Let’s begin with the Pharisee who invited Jesus to his home. The Pharisees were the teachers of the Law. They were privy to the deeper Truths imparted by the Lord and shared through the prophets. They were often proud and enjoyed showcasing their false humility and holiness. In fact, most times in scripture when Jesus was angry or openly rebuking, it was the Pharisees at whom He aimed His rebuke. Jesus took exception to the Pharisees’ emphasis on strict adherence to the Law over a heart changed through a relationship with the Lord. The Pharisees followed a “checking the box” policy to ensure holiness while completely missing the point: God desires to know us and for us to know Him. God desires for us to understand His deep love for us…a love so deep that He sent His Son to die for us even while we were still sinners. God wants for us to submit our lives to Him in response to the Lord’s great grace and mercy and to build a deep and intimate relationship with Him.
The Pharisee in this selection, Simon, invited Jesus to his home for dinner. While Jesus was reclining at the table, a woman who is described only as “a woman who had lived a sinful life” approached Jesus. She “stood behind him at his feet weeping…”
At this point, any one of our names and faces could be inserted into the story. We don’t know this woman’s specific sin, although the original Greek text for “sinful life” describes someone devoted to sin. The emphasis shouldn’t be placed on her lifestyle so much as it should be on her tears. She wept at His feet because she recognized her sinfulness. In fact, she wept so much that her tears soaked Jesus’ feet and she used her hair to dry them.
and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. (v 38)
The perfume, or ointment as it’s referenced in the KJV, that she brought was in an alabaster jar. Alabaster was considered the very best way to house such ointment and opening it required breaking the seal. Once the seal was broken, the ointment or perfume would escape.
Washing feet in this culture was considered a menial task performed by the very lowly. Because of the dusty region in which they lived, and because sandals offered limited protection from such things, feet were often caked with dirt, mud, and dung. It would require great humility to lower oneself literally and figuratively to wash someone’s dirty feet. This woman did so and even went so far as to kiss them. She displayed no reservation or pride. She used what she had on hand to accomplish this act of worship: The jar of perfume, her tears, and her hair. She came to the Lord broken and contrite, and offered all that she had.
Simon was aggravated at the woman’s display of affection and privately peeved that Jesus wouldn’t rebuke her for touching Him. Jesus, as was His custom, already knew how Simon felt. He understood that Simon had judged the woman as merely a sinner, and nothing more. To Simon, she had no value. He judged her by her past and allowed no room for grace.
Jesus responded in the form of a parable.
“Jesus answered him, ‘Simon, I have something to tell you.’
The beginning of the next verse sucks the air out of the room.
“Then he turned to the woman…”
He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman?”
The Greek word for “see” in this sentence holds far more meaning than taking in information with the eye. Jesus, the full embodiment of God, holder of every spiritual gift, was asking Simon if he discerned the woman in front of him. Jesus was inquiring if Simon could feel what the woman was doing. Jesus looked beyond the outward appearance and the flesh to see her heart.
Her tears and unimpeded emotional display reflected her heart. She acknowledged her sin and the depth of her need for forgiveness. She lavished these things on the One she knew could offer her that forgiveness.
Jesus’ reply to Simon, pointing out all that the woman had done that Simon had not, was probably not so much a reprimand of Simon as it was illustrating what the woman offered.
“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.’ Then Jesus said to her, ‘Your sins have been forgiven.’ [and] “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’”
Ladies, perhaps you recognize yourself in the woman because you have “many sins.” Perhaps you see yourself in Simon, who wouldn’t lower himself to wash Jesus’ feet nor would he accept others who did. Maybe you hold others at arms’ length because of their “many sins.” Whatever the case, may our eyes be opened to see more than what’s right in front of us. May we perceive true motives in ourselves and others. May we be so humbly broken that we have no shame in throwing ourselves at the feet of the Lord. May we be so in love with our Savior that nothing is too low or menial for us to do to show our love.
Jesus revealed His discernment and grace by how He recognized this woman’s love in spite of her past. He offered her—freely and without expectation— forgiveness. He told her to go in peace, assured of her salvation received through her faith.
Let’s often take time to throw ourselves at the Savior’s feet. Regardless of how we may look or what others may think of us, let’s wet the feet of Jesus with the tears of our repentance and lavish on Him the beautiful aroma of our praise. He is worthy.
Written by Mandy.
Jesus, was truly a friend of sinners. Not because He enjoyed the sin of this world, but because He saw the heart. What a joyful time it must have been for Him each time someone had that "light bulb" moment and He got to discern the freshly changed being before Him! So often man looks at outward appearance, past mistakes, and the lack of immediate change in every area that we assume should now be sin-free. God gets to look at the heart and He asks us to move beyond our fleshly response and into a heavenly one that will allow us to do the same .
Read: Luke 10:38-42
Unless otherwise noted, all scripture is from the NIV.
Martha and Mary, who we’ve studied previously, have experiences with Jesus so intertwined that it seems difficult to separate them. Maybe in some ways we’re doing them an injustice by studying their stories together. But, maybe we’re allowing God to reveal the big picture that was unfolding by focusing on the linked, yet very different experiences of these sisters. Mary and Martha, like most sisters, had very different personality types, and yet they also possessed some similarities. Martha was quite outspoken about things she thought she understood while Mary was bold in action as she quietly understood what Jesus was bringing about.
One of the first encounters with the sibling duo is in Luke 10, verses 38-42
"As they went on their way, they came to a town where a woman named Martha lived. She cared for Jesus in her home. Martha had a sister named Mary. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to all He said. Martha was working hard getting the supper ready. She came to Jesus and said, “Do You see that my sister is not helping me? Tell her to help me.” Jesus said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. Only a few things are important, even just one. Mary has chosen the good thing. It will not be taken away from her.”
Their differences are so apparent here. Martha, the rule follower and the one who understood what was right and proper, was flabbergasted that Mary wasn't following any of the rules. She was bold and outspoken about the injustice of the lack of help her sister was providing and maybe even a bit of a tattle-tale about Mary's inappropriate behavior for this time and culture. It’s a possibility that Martha thought, with all the teaching that Jesus was doing, that He simply wasn't paying attention to Mary's lack of concern for her place. During this time, women of Israel were legalistically treated as property. Jewish men didn’t speak to Jewish women in public, nor did they teach women the important topics of religion. Just as many during Jesus’ time were being ensnared by the legalistic way in which the Pharisees and Sadducees had interpreted the Law, women were also being chained to restrictions and man-made traditions. The Law which was meant to preserve God's relationship with man, was corrupted by a sinful world. Though He had placed women in positions of leadership, prophecy, and ruling, the Israelites saw women as so much less than what they were: Less than capable, less than worthy, less than valuable, less than their male counterparts. They were allowed one courtyard closer to the Temple than were the Gentiles, who were considered dirty.
Unlike many of their Gentile neighbors, Israelite women were not often allowed to inherit property. They were not allowed to be taught by the priests and they were not allowed to seek instruction from anyone other than the male head of their household. Their job was to serve, just as Martha was doing. Entering into the inner circle of men being taught by a Rabbi—that was unacceptable. Martha, being sure of what she knew, boldly asserted herself into those inner workings and demanded that the teacher take notice of her sister's wrong-doing.
This is where the much more subtle nuances of similarity begin to make their appearance. As we look at Mary, who quietly sat at the feet of Jesus, soaking in every one of His words, we begin to see that she, too, was bold. We hear very few words from Mary through her interactions with Jesus, but her actions are loud and intentional. Mary looked upon Jesus. She heard His words and was quick to come to the revelation that Jesus was here for her. He was here for man-kind, but He was here for woman-kind as well. While most, if not all, of the people sitting at Jesus’ feet in Mary and Martha's home were male, Mary chose to boldly sit among them. She chose to be taught by Jesus, a man who was not her father or her husband. Jesus: A man who was making history and rebelling against the legalism this evil world had brought forth. When Martha boldly spoke about what she knew to be true, Jesus not only corrected her, but He purposefully made clear that Mary's choice was the right one and that the invitation to be discipled was open to all women. Luke 10:42, (emphasis mine)
"Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. Only a few things are important, even just one. Mary has chosen the good thing. It will not be taken away from her."
In this moment Jesus revealed to Mary, Martha, and the many men that were most likely being taught, that this discipleship—this unheard of teaching of women—was a good thing and it would not be taken from them. Sitting at His feet, drawing close to Him—this was the sort of relationship He desired to make with all of mankind. Jesus chose to reveal this personal, drawing-close sort of relationship through women. He chose to not only allow Mary to sit at His feet, but to correct the thinking that was holding Martha and the rest of the Israelite world back from doing the same. Through the interactions of two sisters, Jesus made known a revelation that throws wide open the doors of opportunity for women of faith today.
The law had been misused. Jesus, the all-perfect Sacrifice and Fulfiller of the Law was well aware not only of what the true Law was (as He fullfilled it), but of how it was being misinterpreted. The Israelite people were a devout people. They ha-- and still have--customs and practices that were aimed at acheiving closeness to God. Their desires were to honor the Law the Lord had given them, but somewhere in the process of going from good intentions to actual practice, sin got in the way and the evil in this world ensnared the people of God in a tangled net of limitations that were not intended for them. They saw a list of rules to be followed with zero tolerance, instead of a God who directed them out of concern for their well-being. We, as Christians today, often look like the legalism of Jesus' time. We go at this relationship with God and others, with the best of intentions. Yet, so often we miss that Jesus was the kind of man who never seemed to think that the ends justified the means. He knew the end, and He knew that the hearts of men were damagaed and broken. He knew in order to get them to the end He was about to provide, that zero tolerance and legalism must be replaced with Godly wisdom, compassion, mercy, and love.
The Syrophoenician Woman
Read: Mark 7:24-30
Unless otherwise noted, all scripture is NIV.
Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
Her little girl lay demon-possessed at home. As soon as she heard Jesus was in town, she raced to Him and threw herself at His feet. She was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She was clearly not a Jew, yet she had the nerve to ask Jesus to heal her daughter. A mother, clearly at her wit’s end, desperate to have her daughter made whole, begged this man to heal her child.
At first glance, Jesus’ response may seem out of character with what we’ve come to expect from this man who spent His life as a living example and, later, a sacrifice to show His love. But when we dig into the scripture and look at the original Greek text, we can see His intentions better of putting off this desperate mama.
As she lay at His feet, begging, Jesus’ response was, ‘First let the children eat all they want,’ he told her, ‘for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.’
‘Yes, Lord.’ she replied, ‘but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.’
Then he told her, ‘For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.’
She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone. (Mark 7:27-30)
Jesus seems harsh, almost cold to this woman who’s pleading for her child’s life. This stands in stark contrast to the Jesus who cried when His friend Lazarus died, who spoke so tenderly to the Woman at the Well, and who said, “Let the little children come to me” (Matthew 19:14). Why is this so?
When we dig a little deeper into the original language used, we can see so much about our beautiful Savior. One being that He had a sense of humor and didn’t shy away from using irony to make a point.
Verse 27: One such tongue-in-cheek phrase: “…for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”
The Quest Study Bible commentary offers this: “Using the word dogs, commonly used by Jews to describe Gentiles, may have been sarcasm—his [Jesus’] way to make a point that demean others is alien to the heart of God.” 
Also in that same commentary:
“Jesus was not forcing the Gentile woman to beg, but was perhaps probing the depth of her faith in the God of Israel. Or, he may have been teaching his disciples a lesson in the universal love of God. The woman’s persistence indicates she sensed something from Jesus that encouraged her to continue asking—perhaps a twinkle in his eye, or a warmth in his tone of voice.”
In addressing the woman’s freedom to continue her plea, the Blue Letter Bible offers this for the original Greek text in verse 28 (“she replied”): apokrinomai, which means, “1. to give an answer to a question proposed, to answer and 2. to begin to speak, but always where something has preceded (either said or done) to which the remarks refer.
It can be safely inferred, from the definition of the original Greek text, that Jesus was leading this woman to the conclusion that even “dogs” (Gentiles) were worthy of the Father’s healing. This is a BIG deal, because it points to salvation being not only for the Jews, but also for the Gentiles. In this one conversation, seemingly innocuous and cold, this Gentile woman inferred correctly that the Lord loves Gentiles, in addition to the Jews.
How magnificent is that! We, as the readers, can see the beautiful allusion to us today and our future in the Father’s kingdom. Perhaps she couldn’t make such a fantastic mental leap at the time, because she was consumed with fear for her daughter, but she certainly had no doubt that the Lord was in her midst that day, when she arrived home to find her daughter healthy and healed.
And how outstanding is it to see a side of our Savior, that we may have missed tucked away in 6 small verses of scripture? Our Jesus—the Son of the Most High, the Word, the Lamb of God—revealed God’s plan for Salvation—the very salvation that Jesus Himself would provide by His own death and resurrection—and He did it with a twinkle in His eye!
Written by Mandy.
S o u r c es
 The Quest Study Bible, NIV, 1983, Zondervan
D I G G I N G D E E P E R
Jesus never missed opportunities to present truth to those around him. As He continued to reveal the full scope of salvation to man, He made a point to reveal each of the intricate aspects of the Salvation gift. The Syrophoenician woman was probably accustomed to exclusion, and possibly even mistreatment, at the hands of the Jews. Yet, still she came. She came requesting a Salvation she could not yet begin to understand. She listened to Jesus and heard the tone of His reply and then she responded. She listened closely and was therefore able to grasp that Jesus was in agreement with her; that her asking was not out of line and instead was just what He came to earth for.
Read: John 11:1-44
Unless otherwise noted, all scripture is taken from the NIV.
Jesus was quite fond of the sibling group Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. So fond, that we simply must address one of the ways He revealed Himself through them. Well into their relationship, Martha and Mary sent word that Lazarus was ill. Through John 11 we get to witness the events that took place after this message was sent.
Jesus (all-knowing), most certainly knew the fate that awaited Lazarus. He knew this illness would take his life, and yet even with that knowledge, He remained two days where he was, all the while declaring, "Lazarus' sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this." (John 11:4b NLT)
After those two days, Jesus and His disciples made their way to Judea despite the disciples’ hesitation over knowing that the Jews’ wanted Jesus dead. All the while, Jesus was continuing to reveal himself to them, that they might be able to remove the scales from theirs eyes and see this situation through eyes of faith. As they arrived in Judea, Jesus got word that Lazarus had been dead for four days. This is significant, just as Jesus' full 3 days and nights in the tomb was significant, because under the Law of that time, in order to be considered dead, you had to remain in the tomb for 3 whole days and nights.
Here we encounter Martha and, as in other selections of scripture, she is quite outspoken. The following verses from John 11:21-27 depict their conversation.
When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.’ Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.’
It’s interesting to see Martha's contradictory statements. At some points throughout their conversation it seemed she had the situation under control. She had faith that whatever Jesus asked, God would give Him. Yet, with her next reply she couldn’t grasp that Jesus could physically give Lazarus life on this side of Heaven. She believed Jesus was the Son of God, yet she couldn’t begin to comprehend what that entails.
Jesus then urged Martha to bring Mary to meet Him. As Mary came, she, too was so focused on the limits that she'd set for Jesus based on what she'd already seen Him do, that she also said, "Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died." (John 11:32 NLT) The next verse says "When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. " (John 11:33 KJV) Christ was troubled at what was taking place. “Where have you laid him?” He asked.
We can only speculate about what may have caused His troubled spirit. Was it the lack of faith of those around Him, their limited understanding of who He was, even while He walked among them? This may have been part of it however, it seems that His trouble reached much deeper than that. Jesus may have been troubled by their limitations but even more than that, He was concerned with their well-being. He knew He would not be with them much longer. He hated seeing the people He loved aching with pain. It was heartbreaking to see the evil that was brought into this world killing off His people who were never meant for death. Jesus knew the time was soon coming when He would no longer walk among them. He knew that the limitations they were already setting for God would only increase. He was deeply troubled by these things because His love for these people was so great.
He was and is the ultimate empathizer as He understands and shares our feelings. He is also the most perfect giver of compassion as He takes action to soothe our wounded spirits. When He came to this earth He took on the pain of the people so that He might be an unlimited and insurmountable comfort to them--to us--in times of need. John 11:38 brings us to the tomb with a still troubled Jesus: "Then Jesus, again growning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it." His compassion for these people, the very ones He had come to save, was ever-present.
John 11:39-44 brings us to the conclusion of this miraculous work saying,
‘Roll the stone aside,’ Jesus told them.
While this entire interaction is so powerful, let's focus on just one of Jesus' final revelations: "Unwrap him and let him go!" Jesus had just freed Lazarus from physical death, but he was still wearing its clothes. In so doing, He revealed the plan that was yet to come from His own death: A plan that would remove the grave clothes from every tribe and nation.
Lazarus went on to lead a physical life for years to come, but he would eventually face physical death once again. What Jesus revealed in this powerful statement, "Unwrap him and let him go!” was that He was and is the conqueror of death. Death had no hold on Him, and it has no hold on us when we choose His salvation. He also revealed through this interaction the importance of choosing to fully embrace His redemption on this side of Heaven. Jesus didn't just save us from our sins, He redeemed us from them. We are no longer bound by death because we have been given new life through Christ. It's important to note that Jesus made a point of instructing those present to unwrap Lazarus. In this way, He made evident the need for community, for accountability, and for helping to remove the death clothes of sin that bind us in this life. Jesus revealed through Mary, Martha, and Lazarus that He is the finisher and we are no longer bound by death.
Written by Lindsey.
Often, even the people closest to Jesus were so far off the mark in their understanding of who He was and what He could do. Limitations to His power were being placed on the eyes and hearts of His followers, long before He made His ascent into heaven. Today, His followers continue to limit and box in the power of Christ and His all-sufficient and never-ending power. We cannot even begin to comprehend all that is possible through the power of Jesus, but through the studying of His miracles, we can at least begin to break open those boxes and come to big and better revelations of His goodness than we ever thought possible.
Read: John 8:1-11
The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say? They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
It was a blush-worthy scene: She was locked in the embrace of a man other than her husband. Their interlude was abruptly interrupted when the two of them were discovered. She was dragged unceremoniously, without dignity, and led by rough hands to the Temple Courts. She barely had time to cover her body before being exposed literally and figuratively to the public.
This woman, who remains nameless, was caught “in the act” according to John 8:4. In the original Greek text, the word, which is a derivative of phor (a thief), means the woman was caught while committing the act. There was no question as to her guilt. Interestingly, that Greek word doesn’t appear anywhere else in the Bible except for this book and verse.
This woman, who had absolutely no defense against the accusations being made, was paraded before everyone and made to stand in front of the people and Jesus. We know nothing of her past; whether she was a promiscuous woman or whether she was an upstanding woman of faith who become entangled in sin, although verse 11 refers to a “life of sin.”
The next several verses tell how the Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus. As they present the woman and her sin, they remind Jesus that the Law according to Moses commanded that a woman caught in adultery be stoned (Exodus 20:14, Leviticus 20:10).
What Jesus does next could be considered peculiar. We will never know this side of Heaven exactly what Jesus was writing in the dirt, but some scholars speculate that He was writing the 10 Commandments. Others suggest He was writing the sins of each pharisee present. In any case, whatever He was writing caused every man accusing her to eventually drop their stones and walk away.
The conversation that follows between Jesus and the woman is simple, yet life-changing:
“At this, those who heard [Jesus saying he who was sinless should cast the first stone] began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’
‘No one, sir,’ she said.
‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.”
A handful of words later, and that woman’s existence has changed dramatically. She went from being publicly humiliated and charged with a crime worthy of death to being fully acquitted, forgiven, and set free.
She was sinful. She was caught red-handed. She was a pawn in the Pharisees’ ploy to trap Jesus. Yet Jesus, the Son of God, looked her in the eye and told her she was not condemned, that He did not condemn her.
Not only did Jesus have the Law of Moses on which to justify her execution, He was God in the flesh and could have easily and justly called for her stoning.
What did He do instead?
He went against the Jewish custom and against the teachers of the law to set her free.
This wasn’t a case of mistaken identity or circumstantial evidence. This was an open-and-shut case of GUILTY.
We may scratch our heads at such an unfitting outcome, but let’s put ourselves in her situation. Maybe we aren’t embroiled in adultery like she was, but surely we have sin in our lives.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23.
It doesn’t matter what our sin is…any amount of sin is too much to be in the presence of God. For that reason, God sent Jesus to take our sin upon Himself and make us clean.
The very sin that Jesus came to earth to atone for, He forgave right in front of Him. In this unexpected turn of events, an adulteress woman was brought before Him to be judged. Adultery is not something God takes lightly. There are nearly 40 verses in the English Standard Version Bible alone for “adultery.” The law was very clear about the consequences of adultery and Jesus went a step further to expound on what exactly constitutes adultery in the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5:27-28). The Lord railed against the Israelites as an “adulteress nation” in the Old Testament when they continually turned their back on their God. It’s a serious matter in God’s eyes. Yet, here we see Jesus do the complete opposite of what we’d expect and of what this woman deserved.
In this beautiful moment of forgiveness, we see the grace of Jesus revealed. We see a foreshadowing of what’s to come on a much grander scale. Jesus, the perfect Man, the Son of God, offers grace and forgiveness to sinners; to those who don’t deserve it. He offers Himself as the only worthy sacrifice big enough to atone for our sins once and for all. He reveals the greatest love story of all time: God’s plan to send His one and only Son to save us from ourselves.
Jesus’ surprise acquittal of this woman, His grace, unmerited in every instance, is the revelation of God’s own heart. He came to set His people free: Free from sin and free from the bondage of the Law.
Written by Mandy.
Jesus revealed at every turn of His ministry, Grace, forgiveness, and mercy. He came to fulfill the call for righteous justice that the Holiness of God requires. He took every opportunity to reinforce the understanding that the Law could not be whole without Him, and that with Him, grace will prevail. Those who had not yet accepted His grace were struggling to keep their faith what it was. Jesus threatened their very understanding of who God was. They could not yet see the limitless possibilities Christ was bringing to the table through His ministry of Grace.