Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Passion and Compassion

John 8:7  So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
Just in case you don't know, this verse is from the recount in the book of John, of a woman who was caught in sin. An angry mob brought her to Jesus and told him what she had done and asked Him what they should do since it was the law of Moses to stone her. The woman they wanted to stone was an adulteress. She never denied it. The religious leaders; the Pharisees new that and they used her sin to try and trip Jesus up so that they could condemn Him. What the Pharisees didn't foresee was that the mob had something in common with the woman. She was a sinner. But they all were sinners. The only difference was that her sin was known; public. However they realized, when Jesus pointed it out, that their sin was no better just because theirs' was secret.  
I think that this verse is one of the most important in the new testament. For it to be such a short response from Jesus, and knowing the immense situation He was put in; it was perfect. It was simple but so deep and meaningful. He could have gone in to great detail and argued with these people. He could have thrown their own sin back at them. But instead He left it to them. He let their own conscious handle the problem of calming the blood thirsty mob.
I think sometimes we forget that sin is sin. No one sin is better or worse than another to God. I know from our view point, this is hard to swallow. Some are unthinkable let alone comparable. But we are forgiven and therefore we are expected, even required, to forgive others. Especially when we consider the fact that we are no ones judge. We don't get to decide anyone's worth. If we judge someone who has sinned and decide that they aren't good enough for our forgiveness, how can we expect the Creator of the Universe, the Awesome, Mighty, Holy, God of Perfection, to forgive us? Matthew (NLT) 6:14 says "If you forgive others who sin against you, your heavenly Father will for give you." Matthew (NLT) 7:1-2 says "Do not judge others and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged."

I believe that the bible is very clear. It is not our job to punish people for their sin. We are not perfect and are covered in our own sinful flesh. So how can we see clearly enough through eyes blurred by our own sin to righteously deal with the sin of others. We can't. It is our job is to show others the love of Christ. He commanded us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself. He then said that there were no greater commandments than these. I have never read or heard of a verse where Jesus commanded us to dislike others because of their sin. Or for us to be ugly and condemn people whose sin we find out about. Or for us to turn people away from the House of God if they are found to be sinning. Passion for God and compassion for everyone else is what is required of us. And that's it, short and sweet!