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 8:9b-11
Imagine that someone you loved – your sister, your friend, your daughter – was in her place. Imagine that you were in her place. In the act of adultery, an angry mob of religious men storm into your bedroom to drag you from the bed, take you to the Temple, and make you stand before a Jesus Christ and a crowd of people there to have church. Ashamed, you look at the ground as the shocked crowd looks at you humiliated and without excuse.
From Jesus’ reaction to this scenario, we learn nine things
- Judge yourself before you judge anyone else. The hypocritical religious leaders who brought this woman to be judged did not judge themselves. They did not care about their likely setting her up for the trap, watching her in the act, or dragging her into a public mob for what should have been a private matter.
- Put your rock down. The religious leaders wanted to have this woman stoned to death for her sin. But, Jesus made them put their rock down because He alone is without sin and qualified to throw any stones.
- When all is said and done, it will just be you and Jesus. As the religious leaders walked away from the scandalous scene, all that was left was Jesus and the sinner. So it will be for every one of us sinners at the end of time.
- Jesus does not punish you, but was punished for you. Jesus could have put the woman to death, but instead He forgave her and took her place on the cross to die for her sin.
- Jesus forgives sin. While we tend to deny our sin, diminish our sin, or blame others for our sin Jesus simply forgives it.
- Jesus lifts condemnation. Jesus tells this woman that He does not condemn her. Like her, you can live without condemnation for your past sin because as Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
- Jesus gives dignity. Not only does Jesus forgive her, but he calls the adulterous lady “woman” as he had referred to His mother Mary earlier in John 2:4.
- Jesus calls us to an alternative lifestyle of holiness to “go, and from now on sin no more”.
- Jesus is returning to this place to do for all of God’s people what He did for this woman. We read in Zechariah 14:4 “…his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two…”
What has Jesus forgiven you for? Have you walked away from it yet and stopped that sin?