Where Did He Find You?

In Jewish culture a tradition thrived over the years to place a symbol or monument declaring the victory, liberty or miracles that the God of Abraham did. This was often called a memorial.

These memorials began to be erected to stand as a visual reminder to the Israelites at the time, future generations and would stand as a testament of what God had done for the passer-byes.

Examples of this are flooded throughout the bible, Abraham on many occasions erected a memorial. Noah after the flood on the tip of Mt Arat made a memorial, interesting to note that God also created a memorial at that moment also (the rainbow).

Many countless reminders of God’s provision, help and miracles were left throughout the Israelites journey through the wilderness. Notably the provision of water from a stone.

Memorials of what God had done.

Where God has spoke.

What God declared.

These symbols of God’s unadulterated relationship with his creation was and still is a huge part of being a child of God in the Jewish faith.

Jesus being a good Jew would have grown up seeing and hearing about these memorials.

Jesus often spoke about a new way of doing this spiritual life. Not necessarily changing things but exchanging things.  He wanted to take repetition and create relevance. He even said “I don’t come to abolish… but to fulfill.”

—————————————–The Teaching————————————–

As Jesus began to teach in the temple he heard faint yelling. It was growing louder as he drew closer.

Not as quite as faint, screamed a women’s voice, “No!”

A woman had been dragged for miles by a pack of men perhaps wearing only a blanket or robe or nothing at all. They laid her at the floor of the temple.

The often oversight here is that many teach this scripture and say she was pulled out of the house of the man and thrown into the streets, but The bible says she was taken and thrown in the temple and condemned to death.

Can you relate?

Has anyone ever thrown you under the bus in church? Has the church been more of a place of condemnation than grace? Has the sentence of the church often been death rather than life to you?

Jesus now becomes an audience and a judge to a lascivious sexual and immoral adulterous act.  In English we would call her a whore. I know…a concept bound by time.

Found in bed with a married man. The Law of Moses was clear; she was to be put to death on the spot. Similar to an extreme version of the old show cheaters caught on tape (ahha)

This would have been frightening

Jesus steps in.

Jesus intervenes.

Jesus interrupted.

Have you ever had Jesus interrupt you in such a perfect way?

Let’s pause for a second. What seems to be the misplaced meaning here is that this scripture is a lesson on sin only. However this is a story about relationship. The relationship between God and his creation.

This scripture shouldn’t be an answer to just the question, how does Jesus react to sin, while it is notable how he reacts, there are deeper more personal questions being answered here.

Jesus, the bible says he spoke to the men. Then it says he stooped down to the women. The Greek word for him kneeling down is koop’-to and means to become level.

This is revolutionary, this is empowering but most of all this is an example of how he reacts to us.

We are witnessing a woman who is making mistake, a woman whose life choice is different than most around her. She has been thrown at the foot of the church and for her church isn’t a safe place anymore, church isn’t a sanctuary for her, it now becomes a place of torture and abuse.

But despite everything. We witness this Jesus kneeling down, getting on her level, getting in her mess and sitting with her.

Now a Memorial erects.

Jesus being a well learned Jew would have understood the physical and spiritual importance of a memorial, a symbol of how God intervened in a situation, just as we discussed earlier in this blog.

We left this amazing story when Jesus left the comfort of the temple and stepped down in the muddy, dung filled, smelly sand to get on this women’s level.

Jesus then began to take his finger and write in the sand. Now I’ve read great literary works that elegantly say maybe he wrote, “Amazing grace.” I’ve had friends preach that he drew a picture of the cross. I think most of this is a very nice thought but not practical.

What I believe Jesus was doing was placing a memorial for this woman in the sand.

At this moment where she feels vulnerable and attacked he says to her, remember this moment.

This moment where when every place and person has abandoned her, he has a place for her.

When there is no safe place, he says I’m safe.

This moment became this women’s building point. No more would she be condemned. She would be empowered.

Don’t forget where he found you.

We leave this story with the memorial Jesus left for us, the moment and state of that woman when she met him.

Where did you meet him?

In a jail cell?

In a room of solitude and silence with eyes full of tears?

Emotionally beaten and abused?

So many times Christians are quick to forget where God found them.

Evangelism has become finger pointing and condemnation rather than, “man, I’ve been there and he still came to me.”

Paul constantly reminds us where God met him, in what state he was.

This is supposed to be central to our faith, but somewhere cluttered in our self-righteousness and monkey see- spirituality (Next book? Haha) we have lost the ability to be real.

To be Continued to Sunday @ 7:00 Eastern

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***If you Enjoy what you are reading, this is similar content to what will be in my newest book entitled, The Everyday Revolution which will be out for sale on Monday May 2nd for only 0.99 on the kindle, nook, ibooks, and for digital download at http://www.rickymaye.com***

I Kill Christians

I was at a men’s retreat about four years back, after the main conference we broke off into small discussion groups (which is code for time for Ricky to piss everybody off an bring a new mood to the room). The topic is something we are still struggling with.

Cigarettes and anger seem to run the conversation. Then came me, I gently said, “I’ll pass.” I’ve learned to pass over situation that would pin me against the grain, I have learned sometimes division is not worth a point, hence Jesus telling us to shake off the dust and move on. They continued to probe, and many “come on Ricky’s followed. I gave in.

I leaned up in my chair dramatically as I always do. I said, I’ve killed Christians… I’m still killing them, I can’t stop, I don’t want to live this way. But I feel like it’s right.

The room silenced, everybody slowly glanced to the group leader. He said, Ricky… Please elaborate.

I began to tell my story. I see differences, I see fractions, I see separations. I label her the Baptist, him the Methodist. She’s the millennialist, he’s the Calvinist.

An old rabbi in the first century used to teach that anything other than pure love given to your neighbor was like a spiritual poison. It was slowly killing them. I am killing strangers that I should be loving as brothers.

Every time I don’t love like I am called to. Every time I let a difference get in the way, I am killing my brothers and sisters. Jesus tells of a similar situation, he is caught trying to heal on the Sabbath and he poses the question, “is It better to give the option of life or death.”

Despite our disagreements. Whether or not you even believe what I teach, we should love as brother and sisters, and when we don’t it’s as good as murder.

How many of us feel like Paul before his conversion? We kill Christians based on what we have been told, or doctrine we follow, or even because they have hurt us. Let us be bigger. Let us love in spite of.

“There is nothing anyone can do to ‘earn’ your hatred, if Jesus couldn’t find a reason to hate, neither can you.”

-Ricky Maye

 An Emerging Spirituality (out this Summer)