What does the heart of the Father look like? I believe John 8:3-7 captures it perfectly. The main character in the story is a woman caught in adultery. Tradition during this time would have been to publicly stone the woman for her sin. So, the scribes and the Pharisees brought her to Jesus to see what He had to say on the matter. T.D. Jakes commented on this story in his book “Woman Thou Art Loosed.” He spoke of the scribes and Pharisees when he said; “…there were those who tried to trap Him in His words. They knew that His ministry appealed to the masses of lowly people. They thought if they could get Him to say some condemning things, the people wouldn’t follow Him anymore.” So when they asked Jesus what He thought about the public stoning, He responded with, “He that is without sin among you, let Him first cast a stone at her.” Jakes goes on to say, “He was not condoning the sin of adultery. He simply understood the need to meet people where they were and minister to their need. He saw the pride in the Pharisees and ministered correction to that pride. He saw the wounded woman and ministered forgiveness. Justice demanded that she be stoned to death. Mercy threw the case out of court.” Jesus went on to speak to the woman in 8:10-11; He asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” What an example of how deep the Lord’s love and mercy is for us.
I believe there’s a hunger for authenticity in today’s society. People want an authentic experience with the Lord. We want to know that God is not sitting behind a desk ready to slam the gavel the second we break a rule. We want to experience His love first hand. I believe the true, pure heart of the Father gets lost in legalistic faith. It becomes easy to withdraw when our relationship with Him is viewed as a performance. As soon as I break a rule He has set in place for me, He’ll punish me. All that view does is diminish His heart for us. His heart is seen in John 8:3-11. He knows our every need before we even ask. He’s merciful, not condemning. At the same time, He’s not condoning. He tells the woman to go and sin no more. God loves us where we’re at, but doesn’t wish to keep us there. He has and wants more for us. Jakes went on to say that, “…Jesus comes to set us free. He is unleashing the women of His church. He forgives, heals, and restores. Women can find the potential of their future because of His wonderful power operating in their lives” (p 66-68).
I pray that anyone battling past or present struggles will pick up T.D. Jakes’ book. He portrays the heart of the Father so beautifully. I’ll leave you with one last take away from Jakes. He addresses healing when he says, “I pray that you who have been marred, would allow the reconstructive hand of the Potter to mend the broken places in your lives. Amidst affairs and struggles, needs and incidents, may the peace and calmness of knowing God cause the birth of fresh dreams. But most of all, may it lay to rest old fears” (p 55).