In this week's Bible Lesson we have the gospel account of the woman taken in adultery. The Pharisees and scribes were convinced that Jesus could not be the true Messiah and they were setting a trap for him, hoping to discredit him in front of his followers. They dragged a woman into the place where Jesus was sitting, teaching the people. They set her right in the middle and demanded that he decide her fate. Was she to be stoned as the Mosaic law decreed or not? Jesus took a few minutes, stooping down and doodling in the dust. I imagine he was given the whole situation a treatment, praying to see the powerlessness of hatred and animosity, turning to God for direction. As he remained silent, waiting for his answer, they continued to badger him. He stands up and tells them that 'he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her'. One by one, convicted in their own conscience, they slunk away, leaving the woman in the midst of Jesus' disciples. The gospel says 'Jesus was left alone'. I read that two ways. They had departed, but also that they left off badgering him. He was left alone.
What stood out to me today as I worked with this section of the Lesson were the corresponding citations from Science and Health and the references to 'man'. Jesus has asked her, "Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?". She replies, "No man, Lord." He tells her that neither does he condemn her and that she should go and sin no more.
No man. What man are we talking about here? The man that is God's idea, made in His image and likeness. Mrs. Eddy writes, "Man is the family name for all ideas, - the sons and daughters of God". This defines that 'man' or woman who does not condemn but sees his fellow man or woman as God's beloved sinless child. How does this help her? Again Mrs. Eddy points out, "The real man being linked by Science to his Maker, mortals need only turn from sin and lost sight of mortal selfhood to find Christ, the real man and his relationship to God, and to recognize the divine sonship". This is what the Christ helped her to see. Her ability to turn away from sinful choices by understanding her pure nature as God's child.
That is what I want to be doing in my every day encounters with those around me at home, at the college, around town. See as Jesus saw. Help others see their true identity. Let me never be the one that condemns. Let me only see each one, myself included, as His divine image and likeness. Let me be that 'man'.