When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” John 8:9-10
For God has said, "I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” Hebrews 13:5B-6
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you .... Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6, 8
No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. Be strong and courageous. Joshua 1:5-6A
Let's think of our story of the adulterous woman as if it were taking place in a theater setting. The crowd is the audience and on stage are Jesus, the adulterous woman, and her accusers. After the drama of the attempt of the woman's accusers to trap Jesus through their scheme, we see the amazing way Jesus deals with them. Jesus easily foils their attempt, but avoiding their trap is not the main story line here. The main story line is what Jesus is doing to help this woman. She comes before him trapped in the schemes of diabolical men who seek to undo Jesus and trapped in a lifestyle of loose worldly living.
Now it is just the woman and Jesus left on stage. The woman has just witnessed Jesus at work helping her with her accusers and they are all out of the way. She is alone on stage with God, the Son. You can be assured that standing in his presence like that, she knows something much bigger and much better is going on here than being delivered from human accusers. One cannot be in the presence of Jesus and not experience both truth and grace (John 1:16-18). The reality of sinful humanity and Divine grace meet. Somehow she knows that Divine help has arrived and rather than receiving condemnation from Jesus, he will somehow release her from her past and give her hope for the future.
Love and acceptance are what God's grace brings to us and it comes wrapped in Jesus, God the Son. That spot in the woman's heart that was made for God's love and acceptance only is being filled as she stands alone with Jesus on center stage. A forever connection with Jesus, grace, and love and acceptance is being made. The image of being alone with Jesus on center stage is a beautiful one. Without even knowing it, this has been the lifelong longing of this woman's heart. Can't you see her embracing the words of Hebrews 13 above, where it says, "For God has said, 'I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.' So we can say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?'”
Whenever we struggle with the assurance of our connection to God's love and acceptance perhaps picturing ourselves standing alone in Jesus' presence on the center stage of our lives will help restore the assurance we need and the confidence that our connection to Christ and his love and acceptance is permanent and forever.
Lord, thank you for your forever connection with me. Fill me with a deep and abiding sense of your love and acceptance. Help me to believe that you will never fail me or abandon me. Create in me a heart that trusts and rests in you fully and continually.
Posted on Wed, May 20, 2015
by Alan Porter