Read: John 8:1-59
I was reminded this week of a decision I made that hurt someone deeply. She was my friend and ministry partner. She had served faithfully. Some issues arose, and I cut her off abruptly. No warning. Just showed up at her house and told her it wasn’t working, and I left. She was crushed. Zero love. Zero grace. Many years have passed, but I can still offer myself a load of condemnation over that day.
Chapter 8 is the story of the woman caught in adultery. When I look at the story, I see two things. Jesus is the only One who can condemn and He chooses not to.
The event takes place following The Feast of Tabernacles. It is the day after all the festivities, and Jesus goes back to the Temple. I imagine He is there to teach those who really want to learn.
Jesus is interrupted by the dragging in of a woman who has been “caught” in adultery. Did they go looking for this sinful woman to trap Jesus? Did they expose this desperate woman for their purposes?
The men who dragged her to the Temple ask Jesus if they should follow the Law of Moses and stone her. Jesus bends down to write something profound on the ground, but they will not let up. Jesus says,
Jesus knew they wouldn’t do it. Jesus knew their hearts. Jesus knew that every man before Him had sinned just like the woman.
We have a tendency to categorize our sin, but in the book of James we are told that if we have broken the law in one place, we have broken the whole law.
WE ARE GUILTY. WE ARE NOT SINLESS. WE CANNOT CAST THE STONE.
So why do we, why do I, cast so many stones?
In John 8:29, Jesus tells His audience, “The One who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do what pleases Him.” What is the definition of sinless? Jesus always does what pleases the Father.
He gets to cast the stones of condemnation. And yet, He chooses not to cast any stones. He looks up from His writing (sure wish we knew what He wrote), “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
YOU ARE NOT CONDEMNED. GO. STOP MAKING DESTRUCTIVE CHOICES. THE SON HAS SET YOU FREE TO PLEASE THE FATHER.
I want to believe I am not as bad as the woman caught in adultery, but the Bible tells a different story. Sin comes in all shapes in sizes: in not loving my neighbor, in judging my neighbor, in anything I do that does not please my Father. Every whisper from God that I have ignored is a sin. Every time I have looked away from the hurting or worse yet, brought them before others for condemnation is sin.
I, my friends, am a sinner. But I have a Savior. The sinless One is the only One who can condemn me. No matter how badly I have hurt people by my leadership decisions or any other decisions I have made, I am not condemned.
YOU ARE NOT CONDEMNED EITHER!
It does not matter how dirty you think your past is or how badly you have hurt others. The good news of Jesus Christ is that you are forgiven, loved, and empowered.
You and I are now free to please our heavenly Father!
In your Going Deeper Participant Guide, let’s look at Day 9 beginning on page 21. Complete Look at the Details and Personal Application sections. Then come back here and share your answer to the following discussion question in the comment section below. (You can find the comment section at the bottom of this message. Just scroll down and you’ll see the words “Post a Comment.” Click there and share your responses.) Or, join the conversation on our Facebook Community Group.
"Do you relate more to the woman caught in adultery or the men casting the stone? Why?"
My response will be below in the comment section and on Facebook too, so I hope to see you there! #undividedwomen