Series: Short Stories with Jesus
Message: Hot Woman, Cold Men.
Preacher: Danni Sherwood
Reflection: Paddy McCoy
Live Wonder: Jessyka Albert
Live Adventure: Jessyka Albert
Live Purpose: Kyle Smith
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: John 8:3–11 in the New International Version (NIV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: When I was a kid, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. I had watched plenty of legal shows with my grandmother during lunch time, and I thought I’d love to wear a suit to work every day and carry a briefcase (Of course now my daily attire includes slim fit jeans or pants and a button-up shirt, sometimes with a tie . . . and I’m much happier for it, I’m sure). Though I never became a lawyer, I have remained fascinated by the work they do and by courtrooms in general.
So imagine my excitement when I got my first letter summoning me for jury duty. Here in the U.S., selection for jury duty is a civil obligation. It’s part of being a good citizen. And, according to most people I talked to, the chances of actually being selected for a jury are pretty slim.
I walked into the courtroom at 8:00 a.m. sharp after going through a metal detector and an informal screening, only to find a roomful of at least 150 other potential jurors. I thought I had no chance of being selected, but by the end of the day I found myself sitting in the jury box being sworn in to serve.
It was a fascinating five-day trial focused on a malpractice suit. We heard testimonies from victims, as well as from doctors and other experts in the field, but the hardest thing about the whole experience was that none of us in the jury could talk about the case at all until the defense and the prosecution had rested their cases. For five days, we had no idea what anyone else thought about what was going on. Did the rest of the jury see this case as I did? Could they believe what that one doctor said? Nothing. Our lips were sealed until it was time for deliberation.
I can’t tell you what a relief it was to finally be able to talk about the case and realize that we were all on the same side. We all felt the same way about the testimonies, we all agreed on the outcome of the case, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the process.
As I put myself in the sandals of the woman caught in adultery, I think about how terrified she must have been. Women didn’t often survive these encounters, especially when there were two or more witnesses. And yet, instead of looking at the ground waiting for the first stone to hit her, this woman's eyes were lifted to the face of someone (and something) she didn’t expect in that moment. She looked directly into the eyes of love; a love like she had never seen before. A love she felt wrap around her as He said those beautiful words, “Neither do I condemn you.” Oh, what love, what wondrous love! And guess what, He loves us just as much as He loved the woman caught in adultery; no matter what we’ve done, His love extends to offer us forgiveness, healing, and grace. Amen and Amen!
Recalibrate: Think back to a time when someone offered you unexpected love or kindness. How did you respond?
Respond: Pray that God will expand your heart to allow you to love Him, and others, like He loves us (John 13: 34-35).
Research: Read, ponder, and pray Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians (Ephesians 3:1-21) and meditate on its truths.
Padraic “Paddy” McCoy currently serves as young adult pastor at Kettering Adventist Church. He enjoys authentic discipleship, attempts at intergenerational connections in our churches, and having as much fun as possible. His wife Tricia is a social worker specializing in at-risk adolescents, and his two teenagers, Ayden and Allayna teach him daily about the love of Christ.
In this short story, what are some characteristics of Jesus you see? Take some time to explain those traits that Jesus has and what they teach us about His love for each and every one of us.
Do you think that there’s anything you could do to make your parents stop loving you? Do you think that there’s anything you could do to make God stop loving you? Pray and thank God that He loves you so much and tell Him that you are glad you are His child.
According to the law, this woman was a sinner deserving of death. Jesus’ response to her was, “Neither do I condemn you.” He gave her life when she deserved death. You and I are in a similar situation, but Jesus stands ready to give us life. How does knowing this make you feel?