Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. Luke 15:1 (NASB)
The first time I read Luke 15:1, I felt charmed by it. It was too amazing to be true! How would all tax collectors and sinners be coming to Jesus? All sinners coming to Jesus? What were they coming for? What was drawing them to him? Why were they comfortable being around someone who only speaks the truth all the time?
I read John 8:2 also, and it says Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. That does not sound like what I have seen in today’s church. Sinners are people we rarely want to have anything to do with, and the church is the last place sinners want to go. You have to lure them to come sometimes.
So what did Jesus do differently? Are we preaching the same truth Jesus preached today? Let us see!
John 8:1-11 tells a bit about the story. The scribes and the pharisees had just brought a woman caught in adultery to Jesus. That is what they know how to do best. Spy on you and catch you commiting a sin. And it doesn’t end there, they love to condemn their victims. Make mockery of you, talk about you, find ways to measure out disciplines against you. You don’t get! They must fight for God and help him deal with you for breaking His law.
So here they come to Jesus. For them, if Jesus were true, he would support them and join them in fighting for God. But Jesus also did what he knew how to do best! He stoop down, and wrote in the soil. What was he writing in the soil? I know your frame, I remember that you are dust (Psalm 103:14). He is the great High priest of the Household of God. He understands our weaknesses and knows our frame. His compassion for mankind knows no bound. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
If you read that story, you would see Jesus deal with those men who came to condemn the woman in a self-judging style. He got the message to them with just a challenge none of them could handle. He said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her”. They were all as guilty just as the woman. I wish we will let this truth sink so deep into us – we are all as guilty!
Here is what separates Jesus from the rest – He is merciful, compassionate and focused on restoration, not condemnation. He is first focused on the woman, not her sin. He is focused on setting the woman free from the power of sin and not on discipling the woman. Everyone knows and appreciates genuine help when they see one. We will be more attractive to someone who is addicted to sin when we team up with them in prayers and point them to restoration than when we raise our machete ready to butcher them. Here is the baseline – we all must learn to speak the truth of God’s Word in love (Ephesians 4:15). For God is Love (1 John 4:8)!
Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “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, NLT)
Friends, I know you are tired of sin and it seems no one understands. Jesus does, and He wants to help you. He understands your struggles because he made you and He has the solution to the problem of sin in your life. You are just a step away from your victory. Come to Him now and let Him help you.