How are you?

25.08.2019

 

"So when they continued asking Him, He [a]raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first”. 
(John 8:7 NKJV)

I would like to ask you: "How are you?" Two words, sometimes banal and formal, but that can really contain a lot: interest, understanding, closeness, participation ... Perhaps you are taking stock of this holiday time, the latest events. And surely you would have expected more. Or perhaps like the woman who was brought to Jesus by the scribes and Pharisees early in the morning, you feel surrounded, accused, without any possibility of representing your reasons, or just telling about your condition. How sad to go in search of the Lord to ask him the strangest questions, without any interest in the truth, but only to provoke discussion. Thus, a surprised woman leads him while committing adultery. According to the Torah, as Jesus recalled, the biblical law called for stoning outside the city and the witnesses were required to hurl the stone first (Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 17:7; 22:22).

Beyond that we are early in the morning, one might wonder how they managed to seize this woman in the act. Were they all witnesses? Certainly they are ready to throw stones, since there was no doubt about the punishment, even if it had to be applied to the man who is not there. How often the biblical text leads us to believe what God wants and what needs to be done. Jesus evades the trick question and begins to write in the dust. No one knows what he wrote. But once solicited to react, he gets up and invites his interlocutors to throw stones only if without sin. None of those men think they are net, and all go away, leaving the woman with Jesus. No one can raise accusations before the Master, even when there is evidence. He himself does not condemn, but rehabilitates. The words of Jesus and the non-issuing of any condemnation goes against the death penalty. To the accusers, to the religious authorities, Jesus asks for greater flexibility of judgment. Without discussion or instinctive reaction, the Master temporis and then invites his interlocutors to the action. The Gospel story seems to tell us that no crime can be the object of capital punishment and that a possibility of recovery must never be excluded. At the same time it would be necessary to go to the causes triggering the guilt, to understand the motivations, in order to intervene not to condemn but to recover.

Unfortunately it is easier to throw stones to condemn what appears. Taking care of people instead requires quite another effort. The words of Paul should be a constant warning: "Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?" (Romans 2:1-3 NKJV). Let us look to Him Who was not sent to judge the world (John 3:17) but to save it (John 12:47). By virtue of His work, valid also for you, you are not under accusation before Him, but you are the object of God's plan and His love. And now, how are you?

 


Devotional 35/2019
Weekly Bible reading plan

August 26, Psalms 119: 89-176; 1 Corinthians 8
August 27, Psalms 120-122; 1 Corinthians 9
August 28, Psalms 123-125; 1 Corinthians 10:1-18
August 29, Psalms 126-128; 1 Corinthians 10:19-33
August 30, Psalms 129-131; 1 Corinthians 11:1-16
August 31, Psalms 132-134; 1Corinthians 11:17-34
September 01, Psalms 135-136; 1 Corinthians 12

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