John 8

John 8
John 8

John 8

Many people get confused by topics of Divine Grace and Mercy.
Whenever I am confused
(Which is often…)
I re-read the eighth chapter of the Gospel of St. John
(Who the Mormons believe was actually alive when Joseph Smith had his revelation…interesting fact?)

It’s the story of the woman who was caught in adultery.
Many of us have heard the story…
“Let those among you who are without sin
Cast the first stone…”
Is the famous line we may be familiar with.

So, OK…that line has almost been turned into a cliché
Which is a bit dangerous
As it doesn’t allow
An “unpacking” of the truer and deeper
Meaning within the story, as I see it.

So, allow me to unpack it in my way.
As Christians, we’re asked to believe that
Jesus was consubstantial
With God, right?
Let’s start with that premise.

In our day and age,
Adultery is kind of tacitly accepted
As an ugly fact of our modern lives.
But what about those men standing there
With their stones in hand?

What was adultery like to them?
It was on the top ten list
Of things NOT to do.
Along with killing, covetousness, not honoring one’s parents…
And the Law that Moses says he got from God punishes all those by death.

So, that rabble,
Standing, waiting on the edges of the pit
Staring down upon the woman caught in adultery
Were as incensed as we were
About Bundy, McVeigh, Tsarnaev. So, hold that thought for a moment…

For them,
Adultery was that big a deal.
Maybe even more, as, in that era, women did not enjoy the same position
In society as men did…
So…a dirty, rotten, inexcusable sinner…AND a woman.

There they were, in that frame of mind.
Jesus, consubstantial with the Father that made all those rules
As well as the punishment
Associated with this infraction,
Taught this lesson…

“Let those among you who are without sin
Cast the first stone…”
And then, after shaming every man there
Poised to hurl their deadly rocks…
Well, they all left, one-by-one, eldest first.

But there was still one more lesson to teach.
After everyone had left
Leaving only this gravely sinful woman and this consubstantial man
He asks, “Where is everyone? Isn’t anyone left to accuse you?”
“No sir,” says this Bundy, McVeigh, Tsarnaev-like creature.

Then this man, consubstantial with God…
Therefore, God…algebraically…
Says, “I am not going to accuse you either.
You may go. But, don’t sin anymore.”

The consubstantial being to the One who made the “rules”
And, according to Moses, the punishments,
That entity just up and forgave her?
Is this how it’s supposed to work?
Is this, then, the lesson?

It seems pretty clear to me. I wonder what so many are missing?

©Richard A. Martin, Jr. MD, CPC 2016