The message of the Cross is "No Stones". There are two stories that come to mind which convey this strongly and Jesus is prominant in both. One is the woman who was caught in adultery and brought before Jesus, the other is the Woman at the Well. Can't you just feel the heat of that day? It was the sixth hour. Jesus was weary from His journey. He was hot and He was thirsty, but that didn't stop Him from recruiting a most unlikely missionary. Someone who was counted as worthless in her village, but would be instrumental in the salvation of the entire village...
Jesus instructed her before He told her to go call her husband, and He did a lot more than tell her she was living in adultery.
He spoke to her... Jews of that day lived in mortal hatred of Samaritans who they called curs and halfbreeds. They so dispised the Samaritans they would walk 100 miles out of the way around the country God gave to Joseph's descendants just to not come into contact with the tainted soil.
He asked a drink of her... Jews would have rather endured a time of torturous thirst rather than ask anything from a Samaritan.
He did not draw back from her... This was the heat of the day at the 6th hour. She came to the well at that time most likely because "decent" women shunned her and men found extreme fault with her. Most likely because she was barren. Men cast her aside, usually women did not ask or obtain divorces, but men had no compunction if they were not given heirs. Most likely she was beautiful and had a good personality or at least could cook well becaue she had been married five times. But now, having been cast off five times, she was probably getting on in years, not as beautiful as in her youth and no hope for giving fruit from her womb so the man she was currently living with had not married her. She was a stigma, considered far below worthiness, yet our LORD not only spoke to her, not only asked of her, but leaned forward and taught her about living water.
He told her what she had done... Any gypsy can foretell the future in broad general terms, but no one unless gifted by God can tell you what you did yesterday or five years ago with accuracy. Jesus said she had had five husbands and was now living with a man not her husband. At no time in the conversation did Jesus say, "You are an adulterer." Nor did He say, "You are living in adultery." He simply spoke facts without condemnation or judgement.
She perceived... The woman recognized the truth He spoke and called Him a prophet.
She asked... The woman asked about worship. She called Him on the Jewish tradition that worship could only take place in Jerusalem. When Jesus told her point blank that Samaritans didn't know what they worshiped and that salvation came from the Jews, meaning that the Messiah would be from the Royal Lineage of David, she accepted the truth without argument as most of the Jews gave Him.
When Jesus told her He was the Messiah...
She became a missionary... The woman went to her village and rounded up everyone who would listen to her. I can hear her excitment and I know her eagerness. She didn't say, "Go listen to Him." She said, "Come hear Him, is He not the Christ?" She was herding them toward Jesus as if their lives depended on it, which they did. "He told me everything I did."
She was saved not condemned... So often today we see sin and glorify the sin by hate, by accusation, by condemnation, by pointing fingers and by gossip, by shunning, by ostracising, by cold shoulders, by casting off, by hurtful words and actions.
Everything that woman felt... the rejection, the wounded heart because every man she married divorced her, all her friends denied her, words of condemnation and scorn lacerated her and scarred her soul... and yet, everything she felt, Jesus felt.
Jesus forgave. Jesus loved. Jesus died, and now He lives. Amen.
The message of the Cross is "No Stones"