Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Festival of St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles

Posted on June 29, 2024 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. John 8:1-11 (NKJV)
8:1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
11 She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
The scribes and Pharisees interrupted the preaching of the Gospel to try to trap the Son of God in sin. The trap was as follows: If Jesus said that the adulterous woman should be stoned, then they could accuse Him of not putting into practice the mercy and forgiveness that He had been preaching. If Jesus said that the woman should not be stoned, they could accuse Him of teaching contrary to the Law. Jesus’ response not only demonstrated His own righteousness, but forced them to acknowledge their own sinfulness.
After the scribes and Pharisees left, Jesus could have stoned the adulteress Himself. He had every right to judge her, since He is God and she was guilty of sin. Instead, He chose to forgive her, just as He daily forgives us of all our sins, according to His mercy.
It is important to note that Jesus forgave her sin; He did not ignore her sins. He very clearly commanded her, “Go and sin no more.” The Pharisees did not care about the woman at all. They dragged her out and exposed her sin only for the purpose of attacking Jesus, condemning her, and making themselves look righteous. Jesus, on the other hand, allowed her sin to be exposed so that He might have mercy upon her and forgive her.
Collect: O Almighty God, Who by Thy Son Jesus Christ, didst give to Thy holy Apostles many excellent gifts, and commandedst them earnestly to feed Thy flock: Make, we beseech Thee, all Pastors diligently to preach Thy holy Word, and the people obediently to follow the same, that they may receive the crown of everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Collect for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Grant, O Lord, we beseech Thee, that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by Thy governance, that Thy Church may joyfully serve Thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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