Jesus epitomised compassion, and as God, He set the example for us all to follow. An incident recorded in the Bible sheds light on the same. A woman had been caught in the act of adultery. At that time, stoning was sure to be her fate. But, Jesus was there. Did His presence make a difference to the fate of this woman? Let’s look at her perspective.
Narrating the incident to her friend later, she probably said, “I was frozen.. terrified.. a group of religious men had encircled me and were calling me all sorts of names. I knew my death was inevitable. Forcefully, they were leading me to someone called Jesus, treating me as if I was a dangerous animal to be killed. The men couldn’t stop singing praises about themselves; how diligently they obeyed every letter of the law and tradition. This somehow was their license to treat me and any other transgressor mercilessly and ruthlessly. How I wished the ground would open and swallow me, but there I was standing in front of this man named Jesus.”
“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” This man who I had never met was going to decide my fate. The law of Moses allows stoning by death, but the law of the land, the Roman law, doesn’t. If He agreed for my lynching, he would be guilty of breaking the law of the land. The powerful often dominate, subjugate and decimate the weak, and I would just be another statistic.
And then Jesus, my Saviour, spoke with authority, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” These religious men who had been screaming for my blood, had been rebuked. One by one, the men walked away. Jesus then spoke to me, tenderly, He said, ‘Go and sin no more.’ He gave me a chance to live. He saved me! The Messiah is compassionate!” Power without compassion is evil.