So here’s the confession, I’m the woman. Don’t worry, I haven’t had a crisis of identity. I didn’t say I’m a woman. I’m every bit as masculine as I ever was and this has nothing to do with sexuality or gender politics. It has to do with something I heard on the radio yesterday. The commentator was talking about the story of the woman caught in adultery from John 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.”
After relating the story, the commentator then asked the question, which are you, Jesus or the Pharisees? Now the truth of the matter is I have asked this question many times of myself. The answer I want to give is Jesus, forgiving, full of grace, etc. My fear though is there are times when, if I am not careful, I can be like the judgmental Pharisees. “How can I leave that attitude behind?” is a frequent battle in my heart. The commentator then gave me the answer:
“Neither… You’re the woman.”
As soon as I heard it, my hands went in the air (temporarily, I was driving) and I began to praise. It’s the answer to the cry of my heart. The reason I fear being like the pharisees is because I’m not as good as Jesus. I’ve been caught in sin, maybe not adultery (though by Jesus’ definition, that can be a fight as well) but sin, most definitely. I have been caught in sin and dragged before Jesus by the accuser of my soul. I have only one move, to kneel before my Lord, ask forgiveness and turn from my sin. In this story, I’m the woman and until I can see myself in that place, I run the very real chance of being one of the accusers.
I want to be like Jesus and so like the woman, in the face of condemnation, I receive His grace and do my best in Him to leave my sin behind. The ultimate sin of the pharisees is pride, the sin that made the devil fall. If I stand as accuser, I become like the accuser and my sin is right there to convict me. So I guess what I am saying is…
I’m the woman and I want to be like Jesus.