“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” Mark 10:45 (NIV).
So, if God doesn’t want us to demean, criticize, or devalue ourselves for our mishaps, then how does He want us to respond? I think the best way to find that answer is to see how Jesus himself handled “mistakes” on the part of the humans He lived among while He lived on the Earth.
Let’s look first at John 8:1-11, the story of the adulterous woman. We aren’t told too much about this woman except that she was caught in the act of adultery. It doesn’t really matter if it was a deliberate sin or if she found herself in a situation where she didn’t feel she could escape. Either way, Jesus’ response was “…neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:11, NIV).
Another example of Jesus’ response is found in Matthew 14:22-34. This is the story of Jesus walking out on the water toward the disciples’ boat in the middle of the night. Peter steps forward and has a chance to choose faith over fear. He starts out strong, keeping his eyes on Jesus and focusing on Him. However, he becomes afraid and begins to sink. Jesus’ response is one of compassion and protection. It says in verse 31, “Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’”
The last example I want to look is found in Luke 19:1-10, the story of Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a corrupt tax collector and that fact was well known in the community. Jesus was walking through the crowd one day and singled him out, inviting Himself over to Zacchaeus’ house for dinner. There was no recrimination, no accusations, and as a result of Jesus taking an interest in Zacchaeus, he gave his life to Jesus and was a changed man.
Come back next time to learn what I discovered by studying these various people in the Bible.
© 2013 Cheri Swalwell