It was in the raised eyebrows and puffed up chests that anger, indignation, and pride in knowing they were “right” was painted across all their faces.
And the man they had come to see, remained calm; I imagine his eyes moist with tenderness.
It is true.
The ones with raised eyebrows were “right” in the sense of the law….the woman was wrong; she sinned.
And yet, the one with tenderness knew what was needed.
He began to write things in the sand.
What exactly did he write? It is not revealed, but it caused the ones with raised eyebrows, puffed up chests, anger and indignation to bow their heads and look away. In fact they turned away and left, leaving a pile of stones.
For the one with tenderness said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone…” John 8:7b
In the end, the one accused stood alone with the man who remained calm.
She, the accused, was forgiven – not condemned.
He, the calm one, offered love and grace, and spared her embarrassment and punishment.
He, the man with tenderness, is Jesus.
Friends, fellow lovers of Jesus…
Let us not be the ones with raised eyebrows.
Let us, as a church, throw down the stones.
Let us be like Jesus and offer love and grace first.
Because Jesus did that for us when He first loved us and took up the cross and hung there to die for us – the sinners – who deserved punishment. The only stone he moved was the one that He rolled away as He rose from the dead -making way for us to join Him in heaven one day.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10
“And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.…” Luke 24:2
“He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.” 1 Corinthians 15:4
“I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:3b
This is Truth.
This is the gospel message.
Jesus was born. Jesus died upon the cross. Jesus rose to heaven. Jesus is coming back to get us.
And what do we do now?
“He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Luke 10:27
And we get our strength to love as we trust in the hope which is given to us by the Living Savior, Jesus Christ.
We love God. We love others.
That’s what we are to do now.
THIS is what is needed.