Father, help us this day, not to publicly portray ourselves as Your children and then privately, in our hearts, go right on thinking wrong thoughts and doing things in private that are clearly sinful, as judged by our own hearts.
Drawing near to You in all circumstances and at all times is Your desire for us. You have told us that Your thoughts toward us exceed number. What a wonderful reality. Help us, this day, to respond to that truth by acknowledging Your presence and asking for Your guidance
Then You teach us that the scribes (lawyers) and Pharisees (religious leaders) are in the role of accusers. You did not say they accused falsely, Jesus, You said they too commit sins of various kinds and if any of them thought they were without sin, then step up and cast the first stone in the killing process.
We no longer stand outside the Holy of Holies, but we are invited behind the veil, right into Your presence and there You call us friends. Picturing that moment is both difficult and sublime. Such truth is too great for us to fully comprehend.
If we only honor the good and gentle we have not distinguished ourselves from others in the world. We are to be known by our love for You and for our neighbor and if our neighbor has been granted authority by You (You, Father are sovereign), so be it. The test is theirs.