John 8: 3-11, "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this Woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now, what do you say?' They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing Him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning Him, He straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.' Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the Woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?' ‘No one, sir,' she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,' Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.'"
Can you imagine the feeling of isolation, shame, fear, and rejection of the woman caught in adultery felt as she stood before Jesus and her accusers, waiting to die a horrible death by stoning? Her life was expendable; she didn't matter and was merely a decoy in an attempt to trap Jesus into contradicting the Law of Moses - but Jesus wasn't having it!
As the woman made eye contact with Jesus, sinless and perfect, she probably expected to see disappointment, judgment, or frustration in His eyes. But instead, Jesus looked back with love. He advocated on her behalf and presented a defense that caused everyone holding a stone to reflect on the condition of their own heart. While He stooped to draw in the sand, every accuser, one by one, dropped their rocks and walked away. Then Jesus got down to the real and the raw. It was time for her to leave her life of failure and move forward in forgiveness.
When we mess up, Jesus looks at us the same way! He shows His love and compassion by advocating for us to the Father. Once we receive Him into our hearts, we're no longer condemned, but saved. We will be spared from death and given a purpose as we turn away from our sin and follow Him!
How great is it that God doesn't focus on our missteps, but our next steps! Remember this the next time you feel shame or rejection. Also, whenever you're tempted to be judgmental of others, "drop the stone" and reflect on your own actions instead.
God, Thank You for loving me unconditionally despite my mistakes and failures. I would be lost without Your grace, mercy, and forgiveness. May I treat each day as a gift, walking in Your ways and fulfilling my given purposes! Amen.