In the 1740’s John Newton (1725–1807) captained two Liverpool slave ships in his twenties. From the detailed logs he kept we learn that during this time, John Newton never had the least scruple as to its lawfulness. From his perspective, it was all about making money. In 1754, he became seriously ill and gave up that business. Ten years later he became an Evangelical minister. He became horrified when he recalled his former means of earning a living. Grace changed him. In 1773, he penned the words to the now infamous hymn, Amazing Grace.
The apostle John described an encounter Jesus had with the local religious teachers. In this encounter, Jesus demonstrates Grace.
Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 But early in the morning he went back to the Temple, and all the people came to him, and he sat and taught them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. They forced her to stand before the people. 4 They said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught having sexual relations with a man who is not her husband. 5 The law of Moses commands that we stone to death every woman who does this. What do you say we should do?” 6 They were asking this to trick Jesus so that they could have some charge against him.
But Jesus bent over and started writing on the ground with his finger. 7 When they continued to ask Jesus their question, he raised up and said, “Anyone here who has never sinned can throw the first stone at her.” 8 Then Jesus bent over again and wrote on the ground.
9 Those who heard Jesus began to leave one by one, first the older men and then the others. Jesus was left there alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus raised up again and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one judged you guilty?”
11 She answered, “No one, sir.”
Then Jesus said, “I also don’t judge you guilty. You may go now, but don’t sin anymore.” (John 8:1-11, NCV)
Grace changed this adulterous women.
Grace changes everything. Have you been changed by grace? I would love to hear your story of how grace changed you.
Over the next several Sundays, I will be exploring this theme and invite you to follow along.
Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.