Billy's Blog
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August 3, 2017, 9:29 AM

The rest of the story...

Years ago radio commentator Paul Harvey would finish a story he had previously told a part of and he would introduce the second half of the story by saying, "and here is the rest of the story." He said it in a way only Harvey could. The rest of the story would tell the complete truth of what he was saying. 

It is very true that Jesus was kind and compassionate to sinners. He was willing to spend time with people that other religious would not. He was willing to befriend people and was actually "criticized" as being a friend of sinners. He showed mercy when others showed judgment. But I want you to understand the rest of the story. 

In John chapter eight Jesus is encountered by a group of men. They want to know if the Law will allow them to stone this woman caught in adultery. Jesus doesn't even argue this fact, but he appeals to mercy. He asks these men to consider if they are without sin and if they should continue to stone this woman. Remember that this woman was caught in adultery...meaning that her appearance must have been less than appropriate. I heard one preacher say that it was very likely that she was naked. I mean she was CAUGHT. Jesus appeals to these men to have mercy on her, because they are in need of mercy from God, too. After a few moments the older ones drop their stones first and then the younger ones walk away. 

Jesus looks at the woman and asks her if anyone is left to condemn her. She looks around and to her surprise all the men are gone. I can see her huddled down just trying to brace for the imminent death that is coming her way. She looks up and they are gone. They are all gone. Only Jesus is left standing there. She answers Jesus that no one is left to condemn her and Jesus says, "Then neither do I condemn you." 

We tend to stop there a lot. We focus on the mercy and grace that Jesus shows this woman. We should spend a lot of time on this. The mercy and grace part of this story is very important. The comparison of condemnation versus mercy is a huge point here. But we need to hear the REST OF THE STORY. 

After Jesus tells this woman that no one is there to condemn her he tells her, "Go now and leave your life of sin." 

Jesus gave her a second chance, but if life was really going to change for this woman she needed to live differently. Jesus never excused or accepted her sin...Jesus accepted this woman. She was created by God and was loved by Jesus, but her life needed to change. The purpose of grace to enable to live a different life. Grace is not meant to simply let you know that God loves you, but it's intended to move you into action. 

In 1 Corinthians 3:10 Paul speaks of building churches and says, "By the grace given me I laid a foundation..."

Paul is saying that he was given grace by God to do the mission he was created to do. Part of the grace of God is to release us to live the life God has called us to live. He has given us the opportunity to follow Jesus. 

The rest of the story is go follow Jesus. So have you taken the opportunity of grace? Have you received the mercy of God that allows you to go live for Jesus? 

To accept the grace of God and do nothing is a wasted opportunity. The cost of grace was too high for us to do nothing with it. 

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