Thursday, November 26, 2009

John 8:3-11 – The Woman in Adultery

John 8:3-11 – The Woman in Adultery
The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?" This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus looked up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again."

Comment
To See As Jesus Sees
How we see is critical. In a way it also determines what we see.
For somebody who is trying to be a Christian the endeavour is to see the world as Jesus did.
Seeing people and situations in his light will determine how we respond in the ordinary acts of our lives.

This is not to suggest that the Christian sees another world or shuts out reality.
There are different ways of viewing reality and the deepest truth about life is seen through the eyes of Jesus, the God of ‘love.’

An incident in the New Testament illustrates how Jesus sees people in a deeper and different way.
The scribes and Pharisees bring a woman, caught in the act of adultery, before Jesus and ask him to comment.
They are not interested in the woman herself – they are treating her as a pawn for their own purposes.
Nor are they really interested in learning from Jesus what he might have to say.
Jesus’ attitude is not one of indignation at the woman nor anger at the crowd – he simply asks who amongst us are so perfect that they can stand in judgement on others.
When the crowd has retreated in shame he turns to the woman. He quietly asks her not to sin again and then gently sends the woman on her way.

He Sees What Can Be
How does Christ see the incident? He sees a crowd who are misguided by a religion that has lost its heart and a woman who is terrified and desperate.
In both he sees possibility; by treating the mob and the woman with dignity he allows them to realize for themselves what is right.
I imagine that if we were to behold Christ we would be held in the gaze of one who encourages us to be the best we can, one who believes in us and is on our side.

Seeing With The Heart
The look of Christ would be that of a parent who, despite personal hurt and disappointment, looks at her child with faith, hope and love.
This look is not blind to our faults or shortcomings.
It seems beyond them to what we can be.
The look says that, despite all, you and the world around you are good.
Put another way, the loving heart becomes the organ of vision and truth.
As the fox confides in the story of the Little Prince: ‘It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.’


Source: Don Bosco’s Madonna magazine

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