An egregious sin has been committed. There is no legal or moral defense. There is undeniable outrage. The law is crystal clear, and the crowd has gathered to execute the sentence. With the exception of the very last statement, this is the breaking news of the day. But this is an ancient tale; cliff notes of the John 8 account of the adulterous woman.
I challenge you to read verses 1-12 of John chapter 8. Read it and consider whether you are amidst the crowd that followed the Pharisees to challenge Jesus after seeing the repulsive video yesterday. Is there a stone in your hand? Have you already thrown it?
There is no denying the terrible truth of Ray Rice’s vicious assault of his then fiancée, now wife. It is a crime that deserves punishment. There are likely equally visceral reactions to Janay’s public statement today. They seem to many to be the words of a woman who is in desperate need of help as well.
Can we step back for a moment and lay the narrative of John 8 next to the breaking news of the day? See what we can learn from it … consider the application it has for our own lives … be reminded again of the scandalous nature of God’s forgiveness.
I make no judgements in this space. I even stop short of nudging you in the direction of what I believe after considering all of this myself. I simply ask you to: take the time to read the story; take a pause to consider how it influences your own piece of the public opinion pie; and then make it a bit more personal. How has God forgiven you? Are there moments in your life where you have been the “adulterous woman,” the “abusive husband” or even the “battered wife?” Have you heard the words of Jesus in your heart saying, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” (John 8:10 NLT) No matter what your answer was, did you hear Him say in response, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11 NLT)
There is an immense amount of brokenness in the news of today. I’m guessing that’s also true in your own life. Give it to Jesus. He is the only One who can forgive and truly heal it … and you!