shhhh, today's reading starts with another one of my favourite stories. Although it's not included in some versions of John 8 (my section is italicized to show this) it's found in other Gospels in the bible so there's cross references. It begins with Jesus teaching at the temple and then the Pharisees march in with a woman they just "happened" to catch in adultery. They are clearly trying to catch Jesus in a trap so they can arrest him. Nice try guys, but did you really think this was going to work out for you? I love how Jesus handles this whole situation. While they question what should happen to this woman (according to the Law she should be stoned to death) Jesus squats down and starts writing in the sand at his feet. My first thought... what's he writing?? Wouldn't it be neat to be one of the people sitting around listening to Jesus teach and then see this whole thing go down and know what he was writing? Was it a picture? Was it a teaching plan? Maybe it was the word forgiveness. Who knows. I just wish I did. After Jesus says that the one without sin can cast the first stone (and the leaders leave one at a time starting with the oldest) he basically pardons the woman and tells her to go and leave her life of sin. All in front of the group of people he had been teaching!! Woohoo! Go Jesus!
Do you understand the significance of this? The one without sin is the one who gives forgiveness. Not only that he makes the Pharisees look like idiots in front of a group of people while doing so. As if that' isn't enough, he goes on teaching like he wasn't even interrupted. Like these so called "leaders" aren't worth the words they speak, and honestly they aren't. The Pharisees are so ingrained in their "Law" they're looking past the very person who is the foretold Messiah.
Most of this chapter is the Jesus speaking about how he has come from the Father and will ascend again to Him as a result of their actions. I can understand how that may be confusing for them. It would be hard for me to understand if someone said that to me too. I can see them being all like, how do you know what's going to happen? Everyone knows they're going to die, but to predict it like Jesus does would be very unsettling.
Lastly in this chapter Jesus begins comparing his story with that of Abraham's. Jesus states that Abraham is their father but that they just imitate him. My favourite part is when he tells them that they're nothing like Abraham (their father), they are imitators because Abraham would have been glad to see him come. He even goes so far as to say that Abraham saw that day, and he was glad. After he said this people started to pick up stones. He had touched a nerve. He had said something that, while true, was just something that wasn't said. Once again though, Jesus slipped away and wasn't stoned because it wasn't his time.
I like that Jesus pushes boundaries. I feel as though if I did that I wouldn't slip away so easily. I guess that's the benefit of being the Son of God. You know what's coming. Sometimes it's so easy to say we trust in God and pray prayers, but when push comes to shove... are we ready to follow in his footsteps? Are we ready to put ourselves into places where we might be killed for what we're saying? Are we ready to go places that we don't feel comfortable in and place our trust wholly in Jesus?
That is the challenge at the end of this chapter and the end of the post. Do you accept? Here's something that may help you out.
In case you're wondering, I gave up trying to wake up before my kids. If it happens, that's great. Otherwise my main goal is to read the next chapter. I love learning and relearning a lot stories. I like how it's making me ponder things and write about them. It has been enlightening to me so far. I'm certainly enjoying the challenge. So much so, that I'm actually trying to figure out which book to do next. Do you have a suggestion? Leave it in the comments for me.
You know the saying, the grass is always greener on the other side? This is my attempt to find greener grass right where I am in my life.
BTW - I'm the one on the right, just in case you didn't already know that.