Who’s the Judge?
by Frances Taylor
We are so like the men in this passage from John. Quick to judge and we want that person punished. There's a saying, "People who live in glass houses, shouldn't throw stones." Jesus knew what was in the hearts of the people who accused the woman caught in adultery. He wasn't going to play their game. In the Gospel, the men walked away, beginning with the oldest. But we know people – and maybe ourselves at times – that call out the secrets sins of others while trying to pretend we have blameless lives. I believe that every one of us has something they would like to hide. It could be a youthful indiscretion or something more current, but we all have something. Would we like to be judged in the same way that we judge others? I'm sure we can find excuses for any of our behaviors, and may not consider them sins, because we can justify them. Don't we realize that the people we're judging also have reasons for their behavior as well?
In the Gospel story, there's no mention of the man she was caught with – in the very act – just her. In that day, a woman alone couldn't work and could be cast out of her husband's home if he so chose. Maybe that was the only way she could have a place to live or food on her table. We'll never know. And maybe we shouldn't worry about judging our neighbor either. Who's the judge? The answer to that is simple – God. Since we are not God, we don't have the right to judge.
O Lord we can be cruel to others. Remind us often of your golden rule – do unto others only that which you would want done to you. Amen.