(Part 2 of 2)
Our humility must be the life of Christ, the lamb of God, within us. ~ Andrew Murray
During the Lord’s brief time on earth, He lived Micah 6:8 - He walked humbly with God, extending mercy and justice. Heart and hand, flawlessly integrated, fully expressed. Two examples involve vulnerable women in shameful circumstances:
The woman with the 12-year flow of blood (Mark 5:25-34): Can you imagine the isolation, the rejection, the shame?
Weakened by blood loss, impoverished by all she’d spent on ineffective medicines and doctors. Perpetually labeled unclean (see Leviticus 15:25-27), she would have been excluded from the temple. If she was a married woman, sexual relations would have been taboo, making her husband and bed unclean. Anything she touched would be declared unclean – including people in a crowd. Including Jesus. No, in her condition, she couldn’t go to Him directly; instead, she brushed against his robe and retreated into the swirling throng. And her suffering ceased!
The unclean, touching the holy, in faith.
How did Jesus respond?
He called attention to her in the midst of the chaotic crowd - but not to shame her. Instead, He looked her in the eye. He commended her faith. He pronounced her healed. And He called her daughter – the only time in the gospels where Jesus calls anyone daughter.
The woman caught in adultery (John 8:2-11): Can you imagine the dozens of glaring eyes, the humiliation of your sexual sin being broadcast to the Sunday School teacher in front of the whole class?
She had no protector, no advocate. Surely she expected the condemnation that the Law dictated (see Leviticus 20:10).
How did Jesus respond?
He left the Pharisees’ challenges and accusations unanswered. He turned the spotlight away from her, the accused, and placed it instead upon her accusers. After the men had slunk away and the crowd had dispersed, Jesus looked the woman in the eye. He released her from condemnation. And He instructed her to leave her sinful lifestyle. To live fully in the freedom and dignity He had bestowed upon her.
How do we respond in merciful justice to those we serve? We walk the way that Jesus walked: humbly with our God. In utter union with the Lord. In humble dependence upon God, whose merciful justice then extends itself through our lives, touching those in need around us.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner” (John 5:19, see also John 6:38, 7:16, 8:28, 14:24 & Philippians 2:5-9).