Ever see anything online that makes you flinch? Me too. It was one sentence, “no whores allowed in Heaven.” Followed by, “there’s a special place in hell for people like that.”
I read, knowing the backstory, and just blinked.
Amazed, I told Casey. Her eyes widened. ‘You don’t say that!’ she signed. But he did. I was watching the back and forth between part of my family, talking about the other part. Two Gospel accounts came to mind.
You can read about the adulterous woman in John 8:4-11. I’ll use verses from it to make my point for the sake of space.
When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
This ties into Luke 6:36’s ‘judge not, condemn not.’ We have to deal with ourselves first, which is what happened in John 8:9. They left, one by one, dropping their rocks as they walked away.
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
The only one who had authority to condemn her, didn’t. Why?
Because he was going to die for her on the cross. Judgment was and is coming, but not yet. Look at the last sentence.
“Go now and leave your life of sin.” It wasn’t a free pass. Jesus knew she did wrong, and didn’t overlook it. He was exemplifying ‘condemn not, condone not’, and was the best person to tell the truth in love.
The internet’s anonymity makes it easy to voice our opinions and emotions. Instead of actual stones, we throw digital ones at people. We want to hurt, rather than restore, which leads to the second account.
The Sinful Woman
In Luke 7:36-50, a sinful woman heard Jesus was in town eating with a Pharisee. She interrupted dinner by coming in to stand behind Jesus’ feet, soaking them with her tears. She dried them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with very expensive perfume.
The Pharisee wasn’t happy.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
Jesus told him the parable of the two debtors.
“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
Then he compared the woman’s actions to Simon’s; a broken-hearted sinner, and a self-righteous religious sinner.
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.”
Verse 47, now that shows the power that forgiveness has on someone.
“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
No One Can Gloat
The most broken of people, the ragamuffins, are keenly aware of the debt Christ paid for their sins. That’s why they love so much. Those who aren’t aware of the debt paid for them aren’t perfect, they just don’t realize how broken they are.
Do you know where you are on this scale?