Have you ever looked in your rearview mirror to see those dreaded blue lights of a police car barreling down on you? Even if you weren’t the one the officer was after, your heart may still skip a beat. Do you know why? Because you know that, even if it wasn’t you this time, it has been you in the past who took some liberty with the law; maybe you exceeded the speed-limit a few times or rolled through a stop sign or hit the gas a bit late to quickly get through a yellow light that was turning red. None of us is a perfect driver, even if we haven’t been caught.
Just like none of us is a perfect driver, none of us is a perfect person. (Rom. 3:23) Try as we might, we are all victimized and corrupted by temptations and sin that plague us. Sin is real. All of us has failed, and ultimately, we will all be “ticketed" for it and will pay the price… and sadly, the price is much higher than a fine and increased insurance premiums. (Rom.6:23a)
In John 8:2-11, we read about a woman who was caught in adultery, and that sin carried a severe penalty in Mosaic law - death. If you haven’t read this story, take a moment to read it now.
Can you imagine the commotion that must have been created as this woman is dragged through the temple court and made to stand in humiliation before Jesus and all gathered there? There is something missing in this scene; what is it… or who is it? The man! Where is he? It takes two to tango! The Pharisees weren't concerned about justice though, they were just interested in trying to trap Jesus. But to be clear, the man is equally guilty. The truth is, no one is exempt from the penalty of sin.
The Pharisees knew that the penalty for this sin, which made God’s “Top 10” list (Ex 20:14), was death (Deut 22:22). They wanted to know what Jesus was going to do with her… would he agree that she should be stoned or not? Jesus seems to be in a conundrum, a lose-lose situation. If He said let her go, He would be accused of disobeying the Mosaic law. If He told them to stone her, they could accuse Him of breaking the Roman law, and more importantly, His reputation for love, grace and mercy would be compromised. So what does Jesus do? His response is brilliant, divinely wise!
7 …(Jesus said) “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7. If the room wasn’t already silent, anticipating Jesus’ response, I’ll bet you could hear a pin drop now. Tense shoulders begin to slump. Hot heads begin to bow. Angry faces and furrowed brows begin to soften. Jesus’ powerful and profound words literally disarm the crowd and causes everyone to no longer look outward at her in judgement, but inward at themselves, their motivations, their actions, their hearts.
It’s easy to point the finger at someone else isn’t it? Someone told me once, when you point a finger at someone else, there are always three more pointing back at you! This crowd figured that out quickly because as Jesus’ words sink in, the crowd drops their rocks and walks away.
Then Jesus asks… 10 “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Jesus didn't condone her sin. He didn't excuse her sin. He didn't beat her up verbally for her sin. He showed her unconditional love, mercy, grace and forgiveness. He gave her a second chance. The great news for us is that we serve a God of grace, mercy and second chances! He meets us where we are, but He doesn't leave us there.
What happened to the woman? We don’t know. But something tells me she was inspired, changed, transformed. I want to believe she left “her life of sin.” I also want to believe that many others who experienced Jesus that day did too! How about you?
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, Romans 8:1… Condemnation is God’s gavel of guilt, the penalty for our sin is death… but thankfully, Jesus Christ has paid that penalty for us. In Him we are set free and made new! (Romans 6:23)
Believe that Jesus came, not to condemn you, but to save you! 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17
Ask Him to save you from your sin and give you a new life! 24 …put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:24
For much more, listen to The Jesus Experience - Part 3 - The Sinner.