March 18, 2014

Principles and People

Filed under: Uncategorized — andykiff @ 7:16 pm

John 8:4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.

The religious people were always trying to discredit Jesus by measuring how well he matched up to their ‘ideals’.  They never got the better of him – they ended up either embarrassed or offended.  In all this their aim was to prove that they were right and Jesus was wrong.  They were jealous of his influence, shocked by his friends and angry at his claims.  Their rules and regulations had become their god.  Their principles had become the most important thing to them and nothing or nobody was more important.  When Jesus healed on the Sabbath, they didn’t care about the person whose life had been transformed, only the perceived challenge to their authority.  In this story they were prepared to kill a woman just to make their point.

Jesus loved people.  A sick or troubled person who turned to him for help was never turned away because of ‘the rules’.  There was no prejudice in him, no barriers to grace.  All were welcome.  All are still welcome.  The toxic tendency of the church to put principles above people is the opposite of what Jesus showed.  His followers should welcome everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, lifestyle or anything else that might offend religious people.  The gospel isn’t “get yourself right, then we’ll judge if you’re good enough”.   That doesn’t match my understanding of good news.  The gospel is “neither do I condemn you; go and from now on sin no more“.  I change because I’ve been forgiven, not to earn forgiveness.

Lord, thank You that people are Your most precious treasure.  Thank You that though I deserve death, You give me life.  Help me to extended that same grace to everyone I meet, however different they are to me.


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