- Jesus is not afraid or intimidated.
- Jesus didn’t amplify the situation by making eye contact with the Pharisees who were attacking him and harassing the woman threatening her life using Scripture to justify their anger and hatred. Jesus didn’t confront face to face, challenge, fight back, quote a Scripture. Jesus wrote on the ground directing everyone’s attention away from the woman and attack against him.
- Jesus changes the atmosphere. If you use one word to describe Jesus what would it be? Relaxed and calm? Jesus quiets the storm surrounding him with the religious leaders and the crowd. During a a huge storm on the sea of Galilee when the disciples are afraid Jesus is sleeping in the storm.
- Jesus stayed relational. He loved his enemies.. He wants to help them as much as he was helping the woman. Jesus stayed relational. When we remove loving kindness in a relationship everything is about winning and losing.
- Without love we can use Scripture in a toxic way to manipulate or always have the last word. One Hebrew word for love is “hesed” Is God’s sticky love, attachment love that is glued to us. God is described as hesed over 250x in the Old Testament.
- Another Hebrew word for love is rachem, which is closely related to “rechem” the word for womb.”Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion (rachem) on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” Isaiah 49:15 Tender love is compassionate. Rachem is tender love. Jesus is tender loving and compassionate towards the woman.
- The Greek word for compassion is “splagchnizomai” Colossians 3:12,14 ‘’As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion…. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, agape, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Compassion is the word used to describe the father’s love in the parable of the prodigal son.
2. Jesus’ identity as a gentle protector and grace to love predators (enemies) came from his relationship with Father and Holy Spirit.
- Jesus begins his ministry at his baptism with Father’s blessing. While he was praying he hears the Father say, “You are my son whom I love. I am your Father. I love you” Mark 1:11. The moment Jesus rose up out of the water, John saw the heavenly realm split open, and the Holy Spirit descended like a dove and rested upon him. At the same time, a voice spoke from heaven, saying: “You are my Son, my cherished one, and my greatest delight is in you, the pride of my life. Immediately after this he was compelled by the Holy Spirit to go into an uninhabited desert region.
- From the moment of his baptism, Jesus was overflowing with the Holy Spirit. Luke 4:1
- “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” Acts 10:38
- He only did what Father told him to do. “Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father] does, the Son does likewise.” John 5:19
- Jesus is depending on Father and Holy Spirit like we depend on Father and Holy Spirit. He prays, Abba, my dear Father, always near. The interactive loving presence of Jesus, Holy Spirit and Father blesses us with grace and peace and hesed love.
3. When Jesus speaks to the religious leaders and the crowd surrounding him. “He who is without sin let him cast the first stone.” he exposes the predator hearts and at the same time protects the woman.
- Jesus is a gentle protector who quickly protects this woman by drawing with his finger on the ground distracting her accusers directing their attention to what Jesus is doing. Jesus provides for her a safe space in the midst of an angry group of religious leaders and other in the crowd who are possums, playing dead perhaps fearful of being exposed or condemned.
- Jim Wilder teaches that we are all born with an inner predator. All babies are born in a predator mode; when I am a baby the world exists for me to eat. Everything goes into my mouth. My parents watch out for what I might grab ahold of and put in my mouth. As we grow from infancy into child maturity we are taught how to be protectors.
- Predators notices weaknesses in order to exploit them while hiding their own weakness. Predators take advantage of your weakness, protective people see weakness, in order to care for others. Gentle protectors have a tender heart towards weakness, amplify joy instead of problems or upsets, display transparency—don’t hide or minimize their weakness, and don’t enable dysfunction (codependency).
- God is calling House of God be a safe space where we don’t have to hide our weaknesses. Along with being a safe space It is important for us to be a protective people who quickly protect the weak. When House of God has a protective group identity and our pastor is having a hard day he knows he doesn’t have to hide his weakness.
- We burn out when we act like we are stronger than we are. How I treat my own weakness drives the way I treat the weakness in others. In order to create a group identity that treats weakness properly we need strong protector leaders
4. Jesus invites the woman to experience transformation from the life she as been living. The woman may have been feeling shame, fear, threatened. Jesus created belonging for the woman speaking eye to eye to her. “Is there no one left to condemn you? She answers “No one Lord”. Then I certainly don’t condemn you either. Go, and from now on, be free from a life of sin.” John 8:10-11 When Jesus gives a command it always comes with grace to obey the command. Jesus saves the woman from threats and possible death and also saves her from who she was and invites her to be a different kind of person, to live from her heart.
5. How do we become the gentle protector kind of person Jesus is, increasing hesed love for our own weaknesses along with tender love for others who are weak?
- Increasing hesed love requires a multi-generational community with the weak and strong receiving and giving hesed love. The strong need the weak because they learn what gifts and strengths they have when the weak need help
- Curiosity, kindness and keeping the conversation going help us love one another.
- RARE: Remain relational, Act like our true self in Christ, Return to joy from six big emotions, sad, shame, anger, afraid, disgust, despair (hopeless); Enduring suffering well.