POWER OF FORGIVENESS
We all know the story of the woman caught in adultery. She was a woman who (we are told) had an affair and was caught. She was then brought before Jesus in the Temple by a group of men who wanted to stone her to death. Jesus proceeds to write in the ground as they tempt him by asking what they should do to her. Jesus doesn’t fall into their trap by saying “You cannot throw a stone”, or by saying, “Well get to it”. No, what Jesus does is so much more profound and powerful. He says, “let those without sin cast the first stone.”
On a simple level, Jesus is pointing out that we all fall short. That we all have made mistakes and that no one is greater than another so as to punish them.
After his bold and wise statement the woman’s accusers are convicted by his words and they leave. Now this is where the story get’s interesting. After the accusers leave, Jesus says to the “adulterous women”, “Who is left to condemn you?” . The woman, to her surprise, finds all had gone. She realized there was no one who could condemn her.
When one LEARNS THIS LESSON… that NO ONE is CONDEMNING YOU… then you are FREE to go about your life and SIN NO MORE! – Simply put, the shame we feel each and every day keeps us in a constant state of suffering. This shame, a majority of the time is self-imposed. Of course, we were first conditioned to believe we were no good. Religion, society, our parents did a great job of this. Ignorantly using shame and fear to manipulate us to behave a certain way. Saying things like, “Good boys and girls dress a certain way or act a certain way. Good boys and girls just do what they are told and never question authority.” These examples are nothing compared to how religion convinced us all that our creator hates us so, that we are no good the way we are, because we were so very bad for simply being born…
However, in the story of the adulterous woman the TRUTH is made beautifully clear… THERE IS NO ONE LEFT TO CONDEMN YOU… No one is there to truly tear you down for your self imposed, ill informed, short comings. Once we realize that we can stop hiding and running from the fear that others think we are no good we can finally go and LIVE our life without SIN (foolish, fear inspired thoughts).
Now in the scriptures there is a whole lot of talk about sin. Most don’t truly understand what this “sin” is. Sin means to MISS the MARK (truth). It is foolish thinking. Sin is simply not knowing any better. Which is why Jesus said on that cross, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men. (Proverbs 24:9 KJV)
In truth, to take this story of the adulterous woman solely as a historical event, one would be sinning. Because, these stories we find are meant to be taken spiritually. It is the spirit of the story that gives us life/enlightenment/wisdom.
“WISDOM IS A TREE OF LIFE… IN ALL YOUR GETTING… GET WISDOM!”
So every part of the adulterous woman story has a deeper meaning. The woman, the stones, Jesus, the accusers, everything means so, so much more.
Today we are going to look at this story in a new light and see how it applies to our life. Because when the veil is taken away from this story we will find that we are both the victim and those who condemn, both the accused and the one who provides salvation.
The wonderful thing about these stories we find in scripture is they can be taken so many different ways. And it is peeling back the layers of these that seem to be literal, and historical, stories that we find the true blessing of what was written so many years ago.
If you have been to my site before I shouldn’t have to remind you that the Kingdom of Heaven is a mystery, that Jesus ONLY spoke in parables/allegory to the masses, and that God opens his mouth in dark sayings and parable. Which is a poetic way of saying, there is more to the scriptures than meets the natural eye.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14 KJV)
Our waking life is also a mystery that we will, and must, uncover. The scriptures are the same. Some understand higher things and some cannot, so for those that are not yet ready to be told plainly, the scriptures are written symbolically to help gradually lead everyone where they need to go.
And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
So while the story of the adulterous story may seem cut and dry, there is a lot more hidden within it’s verses. As I stated earlier, we are after the “Spirit” of the story here on “Jacobs’s Ladder”.
My passion is to share what these parables mean so we can apply this wisdom to our lives. And for those who are not ready, the allegory reveals sealed up until the appointed time.
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
In short, private interpretation just doesn’t cut it. It is the inspiration of the LORD, which literally means “the Existing One, or The One Who Exists”, that helps us to see what these allegories really mean. This “LORD/Existing One” is the CHRIST within you, which is the POWER AND WISDOM OF GOD… which is YOUR LIFE! This is where the revelation comes from… WITHIN.
The Kingdom of God is within us, and from the throne of glory we receive the deeper meaning of these stories. You see this inspiration and revelation cannot come from others, it can only come from WITHIN YOU! Even if someone had the truth and tried sharing it with you, if YOU weren’t ready to receive it, you wouldn’t be able too, regardless of how much evidence was presented.
This is why one must not simply take the word of others, one must seek and they will find. When you do HUNT FOR THIS TREASURE HIDDEN IN YOUR EARTHEN VESSEL eventually you will have what it is you are looking for.
The scriptures state, that the truth is poured out for those who seek it. We see many asking God to increase their wisdom, faith, and understanding. We see Solomon asking for wisdom, and we always see these gentle souls finding what it is they looked for to begin with.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
The GREAT TEACHER is within you, this teacher is ONE with you, this teacher is YOUR LIFE, your hope, and your great salvation. DAILY, within you this great TEACHER/LORD/One who truly exists is teaching you (the you, you think you are).
I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.
The power and wisdom of God is within us all, teaching us daily. Sadly we have been conditioned to listen to the god of this world (our egotistical carnal minds/enemy/devil) instead of the TRUTH which sets us free.
So if you seek TRUTH, and GOD IS SPIRIT AND TRUTH AND LOVE… If you seek these things, they will be added to you. Now if truth be told, it works the opposite way to. If you focus on misery you will find it. Whatever a person seeks they will find. If you seek truth, hope, faith and love you will be blessed with these things. If you seek ego, riches, lust, etc… you will find these things as well.
He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.
The reason I am writing this is because lately I have been looking back at some of my writing and videos from the past few years. Some of what I saw and read I loved and some of what I saw and read, just didn’t sound like me at all anymore. We all indeed grow spiritually. And I have grown much in the last couple of years. I find today I am more humble and forgiving than I have been. I think higher of others than I have before and I truly want to walk in peace with everyone. My fundamental beliefs haven’t changed, but my attitude sure has.
There was a time that I would hold onto the pain others caused me. Intellectually I understood people who do harm “know not what they do”. But I was hurt, abused, mocked, and because of this instead of taking the high road I found myself deep within wanting to strike back. Instead of entering the straight gate of peace and righteousness (right thinking) I followed the broad road, one paved with thoughts of revenge and justice. Basically, I wanted to put these critics in their place and in seeking this, I found only pain.
And if we are honest with ourselves. When people hurt us and we in turn strike back to hurt them… we are no better.
This is why we must NOT JUDGE… We must LOVE… we must LAY DOWN OUR STONES!
Today, I am in a different place. I haven’t exactly mastered the art of forgiveness but each day I get a little better and my patience and compassion for even those who hurt me has increased. Today, I don’t feel like I should be standing in judgment over anyone. Sure I don’t understand why some people feel the need to hurt others, but just because I don’t understand their actions doesn’t give me the right to take any of it personally. The truth is when we do this, the only person we hurt is ourselves.
There is a famous saying, the author escapes me… “Other people’s opinions are none of my business”
Now, I have written in the past about what it really means to truly forgive. And how in your forgiveness you are forgiven as well. I have written about what, “forgive and you will be forgiven”, really means before. So let me take a moment and remind you all. The word “Forgive” means to “release a debt”. To forgive is LETTING GO.
To forgive doesn’t mean you pretend to like people who hurt you all the while condemning them in your heart, to forgive means you don’t look to past behavior. To forgive means you LET IT GO! You don’t hold any past offence against anyone, and in so doing your heart is free from the weight of carrying that burden of being upset at these people all the time.
Think about how much of your time is spent living and reliving moments where people have hurt you. It is a torment that is unlike any other. Think how much better it would be if you just let it all go.
Sure that sounds all well and good, right? But it is one thing to say this and understand it, but it is a whole other thing completely to walk this out in your daily life.
I know this well because when looking back at some of my past essays I can easily see how very hard it was for me to forgive. I was like those men chasing that woman down with stones in their hands. I saw people who had done me and others wrong and I wanted justice. And when I threw those stones in my heart , and I cursed them, and I allowed these stones to fly… you know what I found?… I found that in so doing it didn’t make me feel better at all.
In fact, being angry at others for hurting me brought me more pain and suffering than the offence itself.
Here is the reason why… because not only could I not let go of being angry at them but now I had to deal with my own inadequacy of being able to do so. The only thing worse than this is when I allowed my anger to build to a point where I lash out and make my feelings known.
“Words are like toothpaste, once it’s out, IT’S OUT AND CAN’T BE PUT BACK IN!”
And every time I let those STONES fly, the shame of doing this hung heavier around my neck than the anger before it, and that is not living people.
When we don’t let go of past offences not only are we plagued by the actions and words of those who hurt us, but then we are tempted to strike back which opens us up to a whole new, and terrible, world of suffering. This is why it is of utmost importance that we all learn the great lesson of forgiveness. Without it we will NEVER know the peace that we are all hoping to find.
The first step to overcoming any addiction is to recognize that you have a problem with that addiction!
Believe me when I say not being able to truly forgive is something we are all terribly addicted to. This never brings out the best in us, it always brings out the worst. It never leads to life, it always leads to death (ignorant suffering/hell).
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat
How can anyone truly love their life if they don’t love who they are and have the ability to love others? This is the straight gate!
Without forgiveness it is impossible to enjoy life, it impossible to live at peace with others, and impossible to be at peace within yourself. You will always have someone to be angry with, and you will always have part of yourself that you cannot stand.
If we could forgive we would have no ill will toward anyone. If we could forgive our relationships would thrive, our families would know the pure joy of love, and we would begin to have an excitement in our lives that we never knew before.
Forgiveness is the key to our salvation. Look at the example of the crucifixion. At Golgotha (the place of the skull) we see Jesus (Salvation) crosses over from death to life. And what is the declaration he makes first?
34Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
These are the first words he speaks after being placed on the cross. He chose forgiveness and because of this was allowed to give up the ghost of his previous suffering and enter into true rest.
The ability to forgive what many would consider unforgivable is the very thing that has to be done by us all if we ever want to cross over from the death of our carnal minds into the life of Christ (power and wisdom of God).
We must lay down our stones (judgment and condemnation). We must stop seeing ourselves as right in our own eyes and others as wrong. Truly, we have all fallen short. The longer we elevate ourselves at the expense of others the longer we will suffer. The longer we repay hate for hate the more we will reap it in return. The longer we hate ourselves the longer we suffer, the instant we enter into forgiveness we are set free.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap
If you continue to “sow to the flesh” you will reap corruption (corrupt thinking). The longer you fuel the fires of anger toward those who have done you wrong the longer you will be plagued by the suffering that comes with it. However, the more you take your thoughts of anger captive and cast them away, the more treasure you store up for yourself and the more peace you will find within.
The longer you hate yourself and others, the more miserable your life will be. But I promise you the more you forgive others and yourself, the more joy you will find.
The problem is we have been conditioned away from forgiveness. Today people point fingers every which way, towards those that hurt them, towards those act or look different, towards those who think different and believe different. And we are ALL guilty of this, our guilt causes our suffering. Which is why we must LET IT GO!
The greater your capacity to forgive is, the more grateful you become in life. This is pictured beautifully in the story of the woman with the alabaster box.
Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
The more you are able to forgive others and yourself, the more love you have. The more you love the more you forgive, the more you forgive the more you truly begin to live.
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord
We need to change our thinking. We need to forgive BECAUSE it is the only way to freedom. We need to take a good long look at ourselves in the mirror and say, forgive me for the times I could not forgive. We need to pray that we will be ale to forgive and force ourselves to take the higher road. It may be hard at first but soon the high road will become our only road and it will no longer seem as work, because we know in so doing we find everlasting life and peace!
I want to be a light in this world and it would be easy when I am mistreated for me to want to lash out and seek justice for myself. But the instant I do this, that light goes out and I live in darkness and pain because I allowed it. Time has taught me, that when I take revenge into my own hands I am inviting more suffering into my life.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord
Time has also taught me that when I refuse to give in to that wicked egotistic carnal mind of mine that I find strength to overcome it. When we resist the urge to hold others accountable for our current emotional state, we find that urge leave us.
6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you
God is love and we cannot know love when we choose the pride of anger instead. God resists the proud, which means when you act out of your anger toward others it will NEVER bring you a positive and peaceful end. But if you are humble and you forgive and trust God, the urge to do harm, the urge to condemn others and yourself will flee! It will leave you so you can know the peace that you allowed to be stolen from you to begin with, because you didn’t first forgive.
With all of that being said, I want to open your eyes to perhaps seeing the parable of the adulterous woman in a new light.
2And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
Notice this scene takes place in the morning. The SUN (son/truth) hadn’t fully risen, it had just risen. WITHIN the temple Jesus (the way, truth, life) was teaching. Look at the Temple as YOUR SOUL, and Jesus as the Spirit of God within you that is teaching you daily. (The SON just rose and began to teach)
3And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
You see, even though the TRUTH of God was being taught within the Temple (you), the religious mind of condemnation is also at work trying to find a part of you that can be condemned.
Have you ever tried to just sit and clear your mind. The instant you, all of these terrible thoughts and memories flood your mind. Next thing you know, instead of enjoying that peace you are occupied by these negative thoughts. This is exactly what this story is teaching us. That even when we are seeking the TRUTH, the enemy of our carnal mind is at work to distract us and tempt us to do wrong.
Adultery and Prostitution in scripture is always a symbol of cheating on God, or leaving God for the ways and thoughts of this world. A cheating spouse is the perfect picture of mankind’s soul who leaves the husband of truth for another.
And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also
Within us our carnal minds are always at work trying to usurp power and control over love. The carnal mind is that voice of the adulterous woman, the harlot of Babylon, trying to get us all drunk and lead us into the bondage of sin (ignorance and suffering/ missing the mark of our true life.)
Just like the pharisees and scribes were on the look out for anyone to fall short of the law, within us our carnal minds are always pointing out people who do wrong and then try to convince us that they need to be punished.
Our carnal minds are so good at condemnation that this snake will convince you to lash out and then after it gets what it wants, it will then bring you before the truth and condemn YOU for your actions. The enemy is indeed a roaming lion seeking whom it may devour.
But Jesus didn’t take the bait as so many of us would have. He refused to go along with the thought of condemnation. And if he did, he would be the next one on the chopping block. As that is exactly what the Pharisees and Scribes wanted.
But Jesus walked in forgiveness which makes it impossible to condemn another, much less someone who did not offend him personally. Jesus understood as we should, that people don’t do bad things because they know better. They do bad things because they “Know not what they do.”
6This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
Now look at the wonderful symbolism here. The Pharisees and Scribes tempted Jesus to condemn the woman so that they could in return ACCUSE HIM! This is exactly how our carnal minds act. They pump us up with thoughts of revenge, only to make our lives harder and to condemn us all the more when we go along for that pernicious ride.
Now how did Jesus handle this? … He stooped down. The TRUTH always has to come down to the level at which the people are able to grasp it. He didn’t stand above them saying how wrong they were. He took a submissive position so they would hear him. No one will listen to another if that person comes across as a cocky know it all.
Jesus came down to their level, and when he was there, that is when he began to teach them. By placing his finger (authority of truth and love) on the ground (their souls)… The symbolism of placing a finger on the ground to write is wonderful.
7So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
These simple words have such authority. Which is why we see Jesus LIFTING UP HIMSELF. This is a picture of the TRUTH being raised within those who did not know better.
Simply saying, “he that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.” speaks to us all. Not only does it say we all make mistakes and should forgive, but it gives us the freedom to forgive ourselves for our actions… because we all make mistakes.
When you realize that we all make mistakes because we do not know better it is so much easier to forgive those who do us wrong. We cannot stand above others in judgment when they do wrong, because we have done wrong too. And when we learn this we begin to see ourselves walking it out in our own lives.
8And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
When we see that we are no better than others we begin to act that way. We begin to see that we are all in this together, what we do to one we do to ourselves and in learning this we begin to make better choices.
10When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
When the TRUTH of God is lifted up WITHIN US, we understand there is never anyone who can truly condemn us, accuse us, or hurt us. In addition, by knowing this, we learn that we no longer have to condemn, accuse, or hurt anyone in return… Much less ourselves.
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. 12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
We are forgiven people so we must forgive! We all have made mistakes, we all have, but it is time to let it all go. It is time for us to forgive those who have done us harm and forgive ourselves for the harm we have done.
Our sins are forgiven, and when you know this… THERE IS NO ONE THAT CAN CONDEMN YOU ANYMORE.
I may have made mistakes in the past and rushed to judgment because of things that were done to me, but I can let that go… because back then I knew no better. And now I know better, I will take it one day at a time, and pray that I walk in forgiveness always, because without it I will never truly find peace. And neither will you.
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Thanks for finally talking about >POWER OF FORGIVENESS | JACOB’S
LADDER <Liked it!
You are very welcome Chanda! thank you
Jacob again God has used your essay to encourage my heart i have had this on my heart for awhile now about forgiveness in how He is always forgiving and the minute i judge someone or myself it is not from Him. there has many times lately where I have said something about someone or thought something about someone and like God’s love touch my heart and I feel sadness in my heart and mind if you know what mean.
Thank you again for heart of love that God has planned in your heart.
Love in Christ Daniel
Dan, i so appreciate what you share! Thank you always for your encouragement
Thank you for shining that light again brother. It’s getting brighter.
Tigerkey62, I am so glad you are enjoying these articles… Please do subscribe if you haven’t already and share the good news you fiind with others. I hope you have the best weekend ever! Much love and peace to you and yours, and please do keep in touch! Jacob
This is Jeff Peterman, I am Tigerkey62. I hope that you and yours will have a great weekend too.
Thank you Jacob…..Lena
Loved the post. Forgive and Forget is probably the best thing around. Here is a Post that you might enjoy talking more on how another person learned how to forgive through Jesus Christ. http://goo.gl/OH8aNm
Thanks so much, so glad you enjoyed it. I sure hope you have subscribed it is completely free and I have another two hundred essays on here I have written over the years that you might really love. Peace to you and yours, Jacob