Gardendale Nazarene

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Meeting Us Where We Are | Pastor's Blog | Gardendale Nazarene

Meeting Us Where We Are

Our passage for this week is Matthew 7:1-5. In preparing our hearts for worship, I would ask you to read another passage in preparation- John 8:1-11.

The text in Matthew, gives us a directive for how we view one another. Jesus tells us, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” Then in John 8, we see Jesus living this out.

There are a couple of things that I would like to point out in John’s story. Let’s focus on the last couple of verses. Jesus gives the famous line in verse 7, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then, starting with the older men in the crowd, the stones started dropping.

Jesus is then left, bent down, with the woman standing before Him. John then records a subtle detail. Look at verse 10. Jesus stands up. Jesus meets her on her level- eye to eye. In the midst of her sin, Jesus meets her.

When we hear the words, “Judge not, that you be not judged," we sometimes assume that Jesus is offering a blanket of tolerance and moral indifference. I would hope, that as we read John 8:11, we would see the love and beauty of Jesus’ parting words to the woman, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” Jesus is concerned about her sin. He knows that sin separates us from life with His Father.

My prayer for this passage is that we begin to not just understand judgement from God’s perspective, but that we also see ourselves as a community marked by love, peace, justice, and reconciliation.