A God Who Stoops21st May 2017
"Early the next morning, Jesus was back at the Temple. A crowd was soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and Pharisees brought a woman they had caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. "Teacher," they said to Jesus, "this woman was caught in the very acts of adultery. The Law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?" John 8:2-5
The woman had no exit. Deny the accusation? She had been caught. Plead for mercy? No one would speak for her. But someone would stoop for her.
Jesus "stooped down and wrote in the dust" (v6).
We would expect him to stand up, to step forward, or even to ascend a stair to speak. But instead, he leaned over. He descended lower than anyone else - beneath the priests, the people and the woman. The accusers looked down on her. To see Jesus, they had to look down even farther.
He's prone to stoop. He stooped to wash feet, to embrace children. Stooped to pull Peter out of the sea, to pray in the Garden. he stooped before the Roman whipping post. Stooped to carry the cross. Grace is a God who stoops.
"All right, stone her. But let those who have never sinned throw the first stone. When the accusers head this, they slipped away one by one... until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.(v7-9)
So often, don't we also feel like the woman?
Guilty, condemned, unworthy. This condemnation comes from Satan, but he does not have the last word. Jesus has acted on our behalf. He stooped.
Low enough to sleep in a manger, work in a carpentry shop, sleep in a fishing boat. Low enough to be spat upon, slapped, nailed and speared. Low enough to be buried. And then he stood. Up from the slab of death. Up right in Joseph's tomb and right in Satan's face. he stood up for the woman and silenced her accusers, and he does the same for us.
A clear conscience. A clean record. A clean heart. Free from accusation. Free from condemnation. Not just for our past mistakes, but also for our future ones.
"Didn't even one of them condemn you?" "No Lord" she said. And Jesus said, "Neither do I. Go and sin no more." (v10-11)
This is grace. This is our God who frees us from the chains of guilt and condemnation. Let us not only be saved by grace, but also be changed by grace. Take heart, that our God is a God who stoops.
(Grace by Max Lucado)