Casting Stones and Good Intentions

A reading for Tuesday, February 11, 2014: John 7:53-8:11

People are not for us to use as we see fit. People are God's creation. People are the image of God as it exists in the world. God's deepest desire is to live in relationship with people, and that's why all people are created. That's also why we are not allowed to use people to make our point, or to justify our power, or to further our agenda.

The woman caught in adultery is being used by the Scribes and Pharisees. She is dragged into the temple and thrown down before Jesus in order to test him. She was undoubtedly guilty of what she was accused of, but Jesus would have no part of using her to further anyone's agenda even his own. Perhaps that's why the writer of John does not tell us what Jesus writes with his finger in the dirt. It's not important. This woman is a precious image of God in creation and is not to be used to make a point.

Do we do this? Do I? Are we guilty of using people even as the object of our good intentions? Even pity or treating someone differently because they are "less fortunate" than we are might be using them. Objectifying people is never okay even if it is simply to feel good about ourselves or to further our ministry. People are the image of God in creation.

Jesus give us the example of how we are to act with others. Even in the midst of sin our Lord demonstrates that we are to identify someone as God's image in creation. We are not to accept or condone the sin, but we are to accept and show mercy to the sinner. That's all we are allowed to do.


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