Have you ever read through you Bible and asked yourself why God chose to put that story in the Bible that you just read? I may be strange, but I do that often. I know that every word in my Bible has been chosen very carefully by the Holy Spirit, and that there is nothing arbitrary about it. That means that of all the stories throughout the life of Jesus, God also hand-picked the stories that are in our Bible for our benefit. Today I began reading John 8. The very beginning of the chapter has a story that may be uncomfortable to some. It’s a story about a guilty woman, caught in the act of adultery. We may cringe when we even read those words, but it caused me to ask again … “What does God want me to learn from this story?”
I love the wisdom of God. Our Bible is not filled with heroic success stories, but with real-life stories. The people we have made heroes throughout the Bible were just normal, regular people like us. They had flaws, failures and sins just like us. God did not just show their good side to us when they were walking by faith and God was moving mountains and killing giants. He let us see them doing the same kinds of sins that we struggle with every day, and He showed us how He could triumph over it all. You see, the main Character in our Bible is not the people the stories are about. The main Character in the Bible is God working through and in spite of the people in the Bible.
Here in John 8 we are introduced in a very abrupt way to a woman with issues. “And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto Him a woman taken in adultery …” (John 8:3). Before you become very judgmental on this woman, or on the sin she committed, realize that every sin is equal in the eyes of God. Our evil thoughts, or words of gossip, or little “white” lies, or minor cheating are all on the same level when compared to an absolutely righteous God. I don’t know about you, but I can relate to this woman. I drag my sins before my righteous God every day. I am disgusted with my sin … embarrassed by my sin … humiliated that I must come before my loving Heavenly Father with such wretched things. Here is the beauty of this story, and the reason I think the Holy Spirit inspired John to include it in the Bible … God can forgive whatever sin we drag in front of Him. I will get to the accusers later, but for now, focus on the heart of this woman. She was ready for public ridicule and public stoning. That was what justice would have given her. The great thing about the story is that in the place of justice, this lady received mercy! What a sweet word … mercy! I love it … need it … thank God for it!