John 8:1-11 tells the story about a woman caught in adultery, taken before Jesus by the religious leaders of the day. They didn’t value His teaching, but instead were looking to trap him by making him either agree to stone her according to the law of Moses (kinda goes against that whole love and forgive message He was preaching) OR have him say don’t stone her (which goes against the law of Moses).
Most of us know the story – Jesus said whoever has no sin should throw the first stone. And since no one was without sin except Jesus – the religious leaders were foiled again and went home, without stoning the woman. Jesus then told her that he didn’t condemn her either but added “Go and sin no more”.
I’ve heard many sermons about this passage and even a Christian Comic do a bit about it. Most of time the point is relayed that we all have sin and none of us have the right to judge someone else’s sins, however occasionally I hear the emphasis on Jesus’ parting commandment – sin no more. Opening the door to the idea that if someone is “sinnin’ more” then maybe we can pick those stones back up.
One person commented to me recently, “I wonder why everyone wants to talk about how Jesus told the crowd with rocks to go home but never wants to talk about how he told her to sin no more.”
My answer to him was simple and I think worth sharing with you – Because we are the crowd, we are not Jesus. Put down your rock and go home.
Leviticus 13:47-59 is entirely about what to do with garments that have mold – in the King James its translated as not just mold, but leprosy (often referred to in scripture as the disease of the flesh). People tend to gloss over Leviticus because it doesn’t seem relevant to our lives today, but I think this passage reveals something very important about the Character of God.
If we found leprosy on our clothes today, we would toss ’em, burn ’em, get rid of ’em quick. But God instructs us to wash it and inspect it – and if the stain persists, to wash it again – cut out the stain and wash it again, and inspect it again. When I first read this, I thought, all this for a shirt with leprosy???
But I think the point we can draw from this passage is that God isn’t willing to throw away something because of its imperfection. The stain of the flesh, that sin in your life, whatever it may be – God isn’t tossing you aside because of it. He will wash you clean, inspect you, and wash you again. He will tear out the sin but redeem you. Its who He is… and He loves you enough to patiently work on you…
And what does this mean for us? We want to be like Him – made in His image – transformed by his Love… How then can we point to the “stains” we see in others and say “gross” when we ourselves are still being inspected and washed by the Redeemer? Just enjoy the bath…
Its been a long time since I’ve actively used this blog. But I’m still here. Most of my non-work related online time is spent on facebook. I’ve changed a lot of my views over the years and there is a tendency to remove old content that I’ve created that I no longer believe or agree with. I’ve decided not to do that.
We don’t get to erase our past. We don’t get to undo our actions. Even if I could remove the posts and facebook updates and emails and IMs and text messages that I’ve sent over the years, I can’t undo the impact I’ve had on people with those communications. I’m not suggesting that any of my prior communications require apologizes however I have changed and evolved my thinking on politics, social issues, and even my faith (still Christian).
I believe those changes are typical of the human experience. As we age, we find ourselves examining our assumptions and our thoughts from our youth. The one reflection I have been rolling over in my mind lately is how the digital age has made the documentation of those changes common place for many more people than ever before.
I believe more people interact on social sites like facebook than previously kept journals or diaries. And having those thoughts made public, interactive even – impacts the content creator’s thoughts in a way a personal diary never could have. What impact does that have on us?
Its been said that youth is wasted on the young. Anyone my age certainly begins to understand that phrase in ways we never could in our twenty’s. Our experiences shape us and now due to social media, our inner thoughts are no longer alone, but joined with hundreds, thousands, even millions of others. Can social media have a disruptive effect on the natural process of acquiring wisdom through time and experience?
And when I say disruptive – I don’t mean it negatively (or positively). If you change the course of a river, that is disruptive to the natural order, but depending on that change, the results could be fantastic or tragic.
Has social media changed you? Have you ever deleted content you created because you no longer think as you did when you created it?