“Neither Do I Condemn You”

At dawn He went to the temple complex again, and all the people were coming to Him. He sat down and began to teach them.

Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center. “Teacher,” they said to Him, “this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say?” They asked this to trap Him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse Him.

Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with His finger. When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Then He stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only He was left, with the woman in the center. 10 When Jesus stood up, He said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, Lord,” she answered.

“Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.” (John 8)

The church has it backwards so often. We say, “You stop sinning, and we won’t condemn you.” But usually, the more we try to stop sinning, the more we do sin! When you really recognize that you deserve judgement and punishment, and when you really experience no condemnation, then you are free to stop sinning.

The Holy Spirit convicts; the devil condemns.

When the Lord led Israel out of Egypt and slavery, the only reason they made it out was because they put the blood on their doorways. It was a sign that the judgement of God was to pass them over and leave them untouched.

Which is a worse sin — adultery, or complaining?

By the time Isreal reached Sinai, no one had died. It was a short time after they had left Egypt. God had performed miracle after miracle. Yet, the people had done nothing but complain! Even still, they declared pridefully, “We will do all that the Lord has spoken.” (Exodus 19:8) What was the Lord’s response?

Put boundaries for the people all around the mountain and say: Be careful that you don’t go up on the mountain or touch its base. Anyone who touches the mountain will be put to death. (Exodus 19:12)

Whose glory is it? The Lord’s. And in the very next chapter, the Law is given, for the purpose of showing them — and us — our sin. Verses to contemplate this week:

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