The Whore We Am

I recently posted the first part of the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery, and we left off with our heroine/victim/criminal face down in the dirt, and Jesus…you know the Guy…the only One without sin, and thus the one person who by right could cast the first stone…that guy.  He was knelt in the dirt beside her and gently shaking her, rousing her from her stupor of broken, desperate despair and empty lonely barrenness.

He asked her where were her accusers?  And when it finally penetrated her paralyzed mind, she hurriedly gave a harried look around, and saw…

……….no one……except the One who was without sin.

Jesus smiled, and I am totally certain that His eyes glistened with the tears of compassion and love for her…I am sure that He identified with and empathized with her pain and sorrow and desperation…after all, He knew that He would be accused of being a “religious whore” and “caught in the act”, and He knew the pain He would endure, all so we could be in the dirt before Him as the woman was, naked and ashamed…

….and unaccused!

She looked back to Him, and He asked her “Did even one of them accuse you?” And she mumbled, barely audibly, “No”.

And He sat awhile, writing…have you ever wondered what He wrote?  I think He was writing her name, and that He loved her.

But after a bit, He told her “Then neither do I accuse you.  Go your way…and sin no more.”

And that was that.

Now…flash forward a bit, to an important dinner at the home of a wealthy religious leader who threw a dinner party in the attempt to win favor with Jesus, and standing in his own social circle.  They were at the table, eating…

…and suddenly there was an intruder who broke in, and rushed to the feet of Jesus and threw herself down at His feet…

…weeping…

…sobbing…

…and she unbound her hair and cried on his feet, murmuring under her breath nearly incomprehensibly (I think it was “thank you” over and over again).  She got his feet completely wet with her tears, and then used her unbound hair to dry them off…all over…completely.

The leader was highly offended. He knew this woman…she was the town whore, and he had heard rumors that she had even been caught in the very act!!  He hated her for intruding into his house, and for interrupting the dinner party.  And he was also beginning to despise Jesus, feel contempt for him, because he was supposed to be a prophet, and if he were, he would know just what manner of evil was touching him.

But Jesus did know…who she was, and what the leader was thinking…

So He asked a question of the leader…

…”Suppose there are 2 people, and one owes $10.00, and one owes $1,000,000.00?  Suppose that neither one has the means to pay, and then further suppose that the one who is owed decides to forgive each one’s debt.  Now…which of the 2 people will love the man who forgave the debt more?”

The leader was so caught up in his offense that he totally missed the flinty gleam in Jesus’s eyes…and he roughly and blithely answered, “Oh, I suppose the one who was forgiven the million.”

BAM! Fish on!!  Jesus then gently but sternly rebuked this man, reminding him that the man had not washed His feet, or shown any kind of gratitude to Jesus, but rather had sought to enhance his own social standing, while this woman had washed His feet with her very tears and dried them with her hair…

And He ended with this:  he who is forgiven much, loves much…and he who is forgiven little loves little.

Now…we are all forgiven much…but we are also blind to that, and it takes a work of grace to perceive just how much we are truly forgiven for…

Grant us the grace to see how great our debt, that we can then be set free to love even more than we owe.

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