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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"What Does Jesus Say?"

July 22, 2010

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The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do You say?" John 8:3-5

Sakineh Mohammadi has been on death row in an Iranian prison since 2006.

The 43-year-old mother had already been flogged for having an "illicit relationship" outside marriage. Now, with her appeals having been declined, Mohammadi is waiting for the court to carry out her sentence: death by stoning. In Iran the stones which are used must be large enough to cause the condemned pain, but not too large so that they kill immediately.

Although justice in Iran is hardly evenhanded when it comes to punishing men and women, it is almost always swift. So, why has Mohammadi been kept waiting for so long? Simple, there has been an international campaign to keep her from being stoned.

As a United Kingdom representative has said, stoning is a "medieval punishment" and "if the punishment is carried out, it will disgust and appall the watching world."

Understand, nobody is saying Mohammadi shouldn't be executed. They just want the method of dispatch to be clean and efficient.

So now you know what Iran wishes to do to a woman caught in adultery. And what do you think Jesus would do? You don't have to think long about your answer for John 8 tells us. There it tells of the time scribes and Pharisees brought an adulteress to Jesus for a verdict. Should she be stoned? They wanted to know. John says Jesus ignored them ... at least for a while.

Eventually, the Savior did respond. He said, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her" (John 8:7b). That day, guilty consciences prevented anyone from throwing a stone at the woman. That apparently is not the case in Iran.

The difference in attitudes is probably the difference between Jesus -- who wanted to call all sinners to repentance, forgiveness, and salvation -- and Islam, which feels commanded and compelled to surgically remove that which does not meet some subjective and sexist criterion.

A religion of forgiveness. A religion of condemnation. A religion of hope and heaven. A religion of fear and failure.

A Savior who has a desire to see me, and everyone I know, everybody there is or has ever been, with Him in heaven, is a Savior who has done all that is necessary for eternity. Such a Savior is worth following.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for being my special, loving Savior, I give thanks. As You have reached out to me, may I do the same for others who are lost. Today I pray for all those who are treated unfairly and especially my brothers and sisters who are undergoing persecution. Dear Lord, protect and keep them. In Your Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries

Today's Bible Readings: Psalms 33, 43, 66    Philippians 1

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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