She covered her face with her hands.
The officials pushed her out the door and onto the street. The passersby drew back and crossed to walk on the other side of the road, looking back with disgust. But she didn’t notice. She couldn’t. All she could think of was what would happen next.
She had done the unimaginable: She had slept with a man who was not her husband. She felt dirty, exposed. She might as well have signed her own death warrant. There was no question what would happen now. She would be thrown before the guys in charge, there would be a few words of condemnation, the people would scatter to find the sharpest, biggest stones they could, and the rocks would fly in her direction. She would die shamed and disgraced, her name only used as an example of what happens to women “like her.”
As they reached the middle of town, the crowd seemed restless, as if something new was in the air. She felt their judgment. It hurt as much as she knew the rocks would. But it was not the Pharisees who rose to judge her. A man she had never seen but only heard of stepped up to the judgment seat—Jesus.
The crowd jeered at her. The Pharisees talked among themselves, speculating about what Jesus would do. How would He punish her? What would He say? Then He began to speak:
“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7).
The crowd murmured. Stones slipped out of tightly clenched fists and dropped to the dirt, forgotten. The people slowly dispersed until it was just the two of them. He pulled her up by the hand, looked into her anguished face, and spoke.
“Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, Lord.”
“Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more” (vv. 10–11).
It’s Valentine’s Day. A day created to celebrate love. But candy hearts and red roses aren’t the symbols of true love. The love our culture celebrates on Valentine’s Day is a feeling, a fluttering sensation you get for someone else. That’s not Jesus love. Yes, He created those emotions and they’re a gift, but true love is loving when you least feel like it. Loving when someone is the most unlovable. On this day of love (and every day), here are a few ways to show others crazy-Jesus-love.
Go out of your way to serve.
Jesus didn’t have to wash the disciples’ feet (John 13:1–19). It was never expected of Him, but He went above and beyond, showing love in a way that was completely incredible. We can do the same. Serve others when they don’t expect it. Make sacrifices. They’ll be shocked. They might give you a look like you’re crazy. But that’s how Jesus loved. Honestly, it’s crazy love.
Make it a point to encourage.
Do you ever think up a perfectly snarky comeback to a comment someone makes? I have to confess that I’m guilty of it way too often, but that’s not what Jesus did. He made people feel loved with His words; He told the truth. Let’s do the same.
Show love to someone who is really hard to love.
We all have that one person in our life who is just difficult to love. Sometimes they probably feel the exact same way about us. But Jesus, the Son of God, showed unconditional love to an adulterous woman, a woman others wanted to get rid of. He showed her compassion. He showed her grace. We can follow His example and do the same for the hard-to-love people in our world.
So with Valentine’s Day on our hearts and chocolate on our minds, let’s spread a different kind of love. Not the love of the culture that fades with feelings, but the love that Jesus gave.
What ways have you found to show crazy-Jesus-love? Let’s chat in the comments!
PS: We’re giving away a copy of the new Lies Young Women Believe with each post this month. Leave a comment for your chance to win.