Tuesday, July 31, 2007

It's Easy to Miss the Point

As I have been grading my students' work on the E-Course I am teaching this summer (Life and Teachings of Jesus), I am struck in particular by two questions on their current assignment. One has to do with the foundation of Jesus' church. Almost all the students put that the church is built upon Peter. So I have had to explain the different terms for "rock" and that "upon this rock I will build my church" actually refers to the bedrock statement of faith made by Peter, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

But another question troubles me as much or more. After the story of Jesus and the adulterous woman (John 8), I asked the students to sum up the meaning of the story. All of them put things like "we are all sinners, so we shouldn't judge," etc. And while that is true, I want them to see a greater story than that. I want them to see the BEAUTIFUL story of God's grace -- as Jesus reaches out to a woman rejected by "society," and invites her to bask in the warmth of the mercy of God. "Neither do I condemn you, but go your way and sin no more."

What a Savior!


jross said...

I find that grace is a difficult concept for many to comprehend - especially those who are ignorant of scripture. We don't live in a society of grace, and when something is unfamiliar, the tendency is to keep it at arm's length / suspect.

I pray that God's grace permeate my life, and that it will extend much further than what I can even comprehend.

jross again said...

Should that be "further" or "farther"?

Jeff said...

I think grace is hard to see and hard to understand because we humans do a poor job of modeling it. I think the students see the "do not judge" aspect because they are used to people telling them what they did wrong but few offer grace.

I hope as I go along life's path, I can freely share the grace that has been shed on me to others. It is too easy for me to point out the wrong but giving grace is one area I truly, truly want to be more like my Savior.

randy said...

The cynic in me says that if we hadn't spend so much spiritual energy teaching a works based salvation, unbelievers could see God's grace working our lives. The optimist says our culture, which I have always assumed to have largely rejected the good news, have perhaps never really comprehended what God's grace means to them and perhaps with the spirits help, God's grace can be displayed to many.