Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
John 8:2-11 ESV
There’s a theory called “The Uncanny Valley.” Essentially, it means that if a doll, CGI character or anything that could represent a human looks too close to the real thing, it creates a major sense of discomfort.
Well, a lot of people tend to apply the same principle to Christianity, like the Pharisees did in John 8.
We all agree with everything the Bible says and proclaim that publicly, but we don’t like to think about it getting too close to our own lives.
Look at the Pharisees in this story. As always, they’re so wrapped up in trying to catch Jesus that they miss the point. They bring in a woman caught in the act of adultery and say “This is what the Bible says.” They have no problem applying the Word of God to someone else’s situation. But they absolutely aren’t thinking about how it applies to themselves.
In fact, when you think about it, most of Jesus’ encounters with the Pharisees are this way. The Pharisees try so hard to make laws and arrest and condemn people that they keep the Word outside of themselves and don’t look inwardly.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
Matthew 7:1-5 ESV
When we think about sin, we shouldn’t think about it as an abstract concept. When we see verses asking us to abstain from things, we shouldn’t just look at that as a core Christian concept, but a challenge for us to change our lives. Nothing in the Bible is abstract; it’s for us to live out. Just something to think about.