“…Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more,” John 8:11
Guilty or not guilty, that is the question? Early one morning Jesus was in the temple teaching His followers a lesson or two. Suddenly, there arose a commotion in the crowds. Religious leaders began to furiously push their way to the front of those assembled there that day. As they broke through the crowd, they pushed in the midst of all a woman.
This woman was no ordinary woman. She was not considered as everyone else. She was a woman of ill-repute. She was an adulterous woman and there she stood, broken in spirit. Her eyes were down knowing that if she looked up she would see her shame in the angry faces glaring back at her. So there she stands, in the midst of her mess, knowing this time she has gone too far. This time there is no way out. Nobody here would dare to give her second chance. Why should they? She is just an adulteress, not worthy of anything from anybody. She was guilty.
As she continues to stand she can hear all the murmuring going on against her. She can feel the heat of people staring at her as her shame is displayed before all that are present. Her time has come to a close as she hears the gathering of stones that are sure to end her story today. Silent tears begin to roll down her face as she remembers every mistake she has ever committed. She begins to remember every failure, every time she didn’t measure up. Those same silent tears begin to flow a little harder – the pang of guilt is too much to bear.
All the angry voices are yelling at her. They are shouting all the reasons she should be convicted. More people gather close carrying with them, even more, stones. The noise is rising higher as everyone seems to be emotionally charged with great anger. Feeling faint with her own emotions, barely holding on, she glances at the one writing on the ground. Then, with her guilt pressing all the more on her she lowers her head again. The shame is too much to bear.
A shuffling coming from where the Teacher was stooped. Perhaps He will be the one to cast the first stone at her. She’d heard others speak of this man. Some called Him the Son of God. Surely her demise is at hand for she will not find a pardon here. But, as He stood, the unimaginable happened. He spoke, but not to her. He lectured those who had gathered against her, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her,” (John 8:7).
In shock, she lifted her tear-stained face to see eyes that could penetrate a marred soul. But, those eyes, they were looking at the others. Just as before, He stooped once again. Behind her, she heard not a murmur – not a mumbling word. What she did hear amazed her. Thumps! Thump-thump; thump-thump. The very stones that were ready to take her life lay motionless on the ground. The crowd dispersed.
“When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said to her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more,” (John 8:10-11). She didn’t question Jesus but she accepted the forgiveness He offered and went. Jesus didn’t justify what she did but He forgave her. Let me make this very clear, God will never, ever condone our sin or pat us on the back for it, but we can be free from them. Like that woman, we could be standing in the midst of our mess but He is ready, holding the keys to your release. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:9). Turn to Him in all humility of heart, confess and accept it today!
Today, if you are not born again and you want to be free and experience what Jesus is offering to this woman, I urge you to turn to Him immediately. Above, I quoted 1 John 1:9 which was written to a church of believers who already knew Christ as their Savior and were being encouraged in their faith against false teaching. If you want your confession to work you must be born again, then like the woman we too can find release and forgiveness. “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God,” (John 3:5). “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost,” (Acts 2:38). Be blessed, turn to Him and accept His forgiveness today!