Have you ever wondered why millions of people around the world follow some dude named Jesus who lived 2,000 years ago and think he will make their lives any better today?
I want to share with you a few reasons why Jesus matters to me.
Reason #1: Jesus dropped the stone!
Jesus pushed several cultural boundaries his contemporaries didn’t appreciate. He had a different approach to life and God which upheaved the norms and challenged the status quo. This left the religious leaders of his day with two options: consider the merits of Jesus’ way or push back. They chose the latter.
The religious leaders of the time were growing increasingly weary of Jesus so they wanted to trap him. They brought before him a woman who had been caught in adultery. The punishment for such an offense then was death by stoning. Instead of shaming and condemning this woman, who had been found guilty, Jesus said to the leaders concerning her:
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
– John 8:7
As the story goes, one by one, the oldest first, the leaders began to drop their stones. They all left, leaving only Jesus.
Jesus is demonstrating grace. He challenged those present who had never sinned to be the first to throw a stone. Of course, each of them had sinned; each but Jesus.
Jesus, being perfect, is the only one who has a basis to hold her wrongdoing against her. Yet, as we’re reminded:
Jesus, who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his advantage.
Jesus, the lone leader left once again challenged the cultural norms. Instead of demanding blood for atonement he required somethings else from her:
“Women, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
– John 8:10-11
Jesus had every right to condemn her, yet he chose to relent in love. He pointed her to a better life, one apart from sin and condemnation. This is but one example of the many reasons why Jesus matters and why he’s worth following. Someone who doesn’t use his authority to blast us, but to gently love and restore. Jesus could have used her to make a point of the damage adultery has on a family, but he had something else in mind.
Never make a point at the expense of making a difference
– Andy Stanley
May you take solace in the knowledge that we have an advocate in Jesus, one who wants to guide us, not one who wants to stone us. That is good news! And that is but one reason why Jesus matters!
What are some ways you have seen that Jesus matters?