March 13, 2016
Sunday of the Fifth Week of Lent
The good news for the Day
Then some people educated in the law and religious leaders brought a woman caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle of a crowd. They asked Jesus, “Professor, this woman has been caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now according to the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” (John 8)
Bad people blame—accuse, find fault, put down and judge others.
Good people forgive, understand, excuse, and avoid judgment.
It is a spectrum, of course. On the cross the extremely good Jesus forgives people killing him. His religious-leader opponents—painted in the Gospels as “the really bad ones”—keep looking for faults—to blame and if possible punish people who do not conform to their standards. They look for deviance, for what they consider sin in others. That is how bad people act.
Which side are you on?
If you associate more with sinners than religious leaders, if your heart reaches out in compassion to bad guys (even killers, abusers and cheats), if you accept that everybody has faults, including you, if you are attacked by hypocrites and “superior” people for being “different” than the standard religion, if you try to forget faults—welcoming and laughing with people who rant crazily at you—why, then, you are on Jesus’s side. You are part of the “realm of what’s right.”
Challenged to judge other people, you need to stand firm and judge not. You see others, like this woman, accused, faulted and blamed by society. Your response is crucial. The Good News is that you have the power to affect hypocritical, judgmental and hostile religious leaders, the “judges of others.” You have the power to forgive and say, “Sin no more.”