The woman caught in adultery is an extremely familiar passage to most of us, but let’s evaluate this scene from another angle. It starts out saying that after a bit of traveling, Jesus once again finds himself in the temple. Due to his popularity, a crowd quickly gathered and because of his compassion, Jesus began teaching them. They were hungry, or at least curious of what this obviously special man had to say. We can also assume that the faithful disciples were also present.
To this already full space, in walks the scribes and Pharisees dragging along the half-naked woman. It is in this crowded atmosphere that Jesus demonstrates one of the most powerful lessons of mercy. Lots of people were witnesses. In fact, there are 4 main groups. You have the faithful disciples, the curious crowd, the repentant sinner, and the hard-hearted leaders who saw no error in their ways.
Mercy – that is what this story articulates. However, Jesus’s mercy did not only extend to the woman, it extended to everyone present, even if they didn’t realize it or accept it. That is the real beauty of the mercy of God, it is gifted to everyone equally. Every person you see, whether they are searchers or completely blind in their sin, is loved by God and he desperately desires to pour his mercy into their lives. There is no limit to it. Get that – NO LIMIT.
Our world is filled with all four of these types of on-lookers. Our job is not to determine who is worthy of receiving the mercy of God, it is our job to lead everyone to his endless fountain. No one’s journey is completed until the end. Be an instrument of mercy to all.
Besides being a mom to 9 and grandmother to 3, Linda Padgett is a speaker and author. She and her husband, Chris Padgett started Catholic Family and Marriage, Inc and are busy ministering to all in need of God’s mercy. Find Linda at www.linda360.com or on Facebook @lindapadgett360 or @catholicFAM