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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Drawing the Line: The Self - Righteous v. the Merciful

"At dawn Jesus appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.  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 in the sand.

"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."  John 8:1-11

About one year ago, bloggers, visitors and readers of Homeless In America were asked to, in their opinion, fill in the blanks of the above story.  Here is the question they responded to:

"Jesus defended his divine mercy for sinners when he wrote in the sand protecting the woman caught in adultery from certain angry and violent self-righteous church leaders of his day. In your opinion, what do you think he wrote?"

81% responded that quite possibly Jesus wrote in the sand a combination of two things.  First, the secret sins of the priests and the Pharisees.  Second, a dividing line between the self-righteous church leaders on one side and those that stood for mercy on the other side.

19% responded that quite possibly Jesus wrote neither.  More than likely, he wrote something else that we are not aware of since it is omitted from the story.

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