CAUGHT IN THE ACT


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“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” John 8:4-5
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The case of the woman caught in adultery is more like the case of a woman whose sex video got leaked. If there were cameras in those days, believe me, her sex tape will leak because her accusers must have mounted cameras everywhere. I discovered she was being monitored, I discovered her accusers were simply bent on catching her in the very act. There is a difference when one is caught because of rumours and when one is caught in the very act. She was caught while the intercourse was going on, she was caught perhaps in the middle of pleasure and truth is, she may have been beaten and battered while naked!
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One thing is clear from this story, she was the target and not the man who was committing sexual immorality with her. She was caught in the very act, the man who she was doing it with was not touched and I have come to believe that the man might have even set her up! In our modern world, she would have passed through series of blackmail and all that!
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This woman in question was not forced to lay down with another man, she might not have been coerced into it, she might have been brainwashed to do it for money or for any other things her husband wouldn’t have been able to offer her. Perhaps, she needed a baby and that was the only option given to her. So, from all indication, she was guilty, she was aware of the consequences of her sin, she was aware that she might face death if she got caught but it never stopped her to lay with another man.
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It was in this act that she was caught! She got disgraced publicly as they pushed her across the streets in the face of all. If there were social media then, they would have made a live broadcast of this woman, they would have posted pictures and videos about her all over the media. In their words, they are cleansing the land of all atrocities, of all things that defiles it! In their own words, they are crusaders of morality, promoting purity and calling a spade a spade! Yes, in their own words, they were not judging her but simply making her realize how sinful she is and how terrible her sin was. Ultimately, they are simply upholding the law of Moses, the law that guides them at that time! They were upholding the constitution of their land and the constitution simply says that she should be stoned.
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At first, Jesus stooped and wrote on the dust! Right there, there was compassion all over his face, he saw the woman differently and he even saw her accusers differently! In them he saw people who were just bent on destroying the woman, he saw people who were guilty of the same sin, he saw people who were so unclean and yet accuses another of sin. He remained quiet and kept writing on the dust. They went further to demand for an answer because they wanted to use it against him. They have always seen Jesus as a friend of sinners, they have always seen Jesus as one who would rather go to a sinner than spend time with teachers of the law. They thought Jesus would say she didn’t sin and so they would stone her and stone him too but something happened.
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As they pressed further, pointing fingers on the woman, speaking right into her face and calling her all manner of names, Jesus then looked up and said to them
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“All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” John 8:7
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Jesus wasn’t supporting her sin, Jesus wasn’t saying they lied concerning this woman, Jesus did not say she was right to sin but Jesus was simply saying “you can go on and stone her but let the one who has never ever sin throw the first stone”. They would have lied, they would have claimed they were perfect but Jesus reminded them that their sins were worse than the adulterous woman. Jesus reminded them that if they were to be treated the same way they were treating the woman, they too deserved death! It was this reminder that shock them, it was this reminder that set their hearts on fire and their hands were shaking with the stones. It was a truth so obvious that they wouldn’t deny it for any reason. It was an undeniable truth! This way they all left the woman to go and have a reflection on their own lives! Among them too were adulterers, idolaters, thieves, liars and name them! Among them were unrepentant sinners but Jesus had to show them how big there sin was and this sent them all on their way. They all left in shame, not even talking to one another. The crowd were watching, the woman have been humiliated and her name pushed to the mud, it was supposed that her sin will linger into the future to be seen by her children and grandchildren.
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She was left alone with Jesus in the middle of the crowd and Jesus looked at her with compassion, a compassion so deep that it raises suspicion, compassion so deep that one would feel it from a distance… It wasn’t just something about the woman, it was something about God’s love for sinners, God’s willingness to save them out of every mess they have ever passed through… In Jesus, the nature of God was portrayed. And Jesus said to her in the presence of the crowd
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“Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
 
“No, Lord,” she said.
 
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” (John 8:10-11)
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What a man! Her sin was so obvious, she wasn’t coerced, she wasn’t raped, it wasn’t even fornication but of all sins, adultery! Her needed forgiveness from the husband, from the crowd and from the law but Jesus overrode all protocols of the law, Jesus didn’t ask her to go and confess and ask for forgiveness first, Jesus didn’t ask her to make a press release and tell the world if she did it or not! We would have expected Jesus to start telling her how grave her sins was, we would have expected Jesus to recommend her for deliverance… Jesus! Jesus didn’t cast out demon from her, Jesus didn’t ask her to explain why she did it, Jesus didn’t ask for anything more than “GO AND SIN NO MORE”.
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What a heart touching story! Now, We always see the same and exact scenario come into play. What do we do? Most times, we join the accusers, we lift stones and fuel, we set people ablaze all in the name of allowing the law to take its cause. People we expect to be perfect role models for our children are often caught in the very act! The videos leak to the world, the world sees a state of moral decay, the world sees what they would term an abomination and of course, the constitution demands death or imprisonment. In most cases, there is always a sudden uproar, people pick up stones, people pick up hammer, they are ready to crucify the culprit after all the land needs cleansing. Just like in the days of Jesus, culprits are dragged through the streets of the social media. They are not always the only people involved, but they are the only people everyone is talking about! Some are just like the adulterous woman who was caught but no one talked about the man she committed it with.
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Now that something like this have been into play in our own time, what would Jesus have done? He will do exactly what he did some thousand years ago! The job of condemnation wasn’t given to us, that is the devil’s job… He is the accuser and that’s the only thing he is good at. The devil hates to see chances of salvation, the devil would want sinners who were caught commit suicide.
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While peoples’ actions may be stupid… It is not enough to sit back and watch our potential St. Pauls get destroyed like that. The accusers are not saints, the blackmailers are not saints… They are all worse than the people they accuse, just that their own sins were done in the secret. They simply were not caught or they sinned differently.
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Like Jesus, seeing the accused sitting in the midst of the crowd left all alone to their fate, we must always join hands together as believers to reach out to these people. We might not save them from jail, but we can be with them in jail. We might not save them from punishment but we might show them how much God wants them to be out of that mess. This should be our message:
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“This is the time to shake off, Jesus is here… Your accusers are defeated. Jesus loves you, Jesus does not condemn you and we don’t condemn you. We stand with you in our prayers, we believe in your future and we believe you will rise again. GO AND SIN NO MORE”
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#GracefulGeorge

 

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