As I was studying John 8 I came across 5 points about sin that I wanted to discuss with you. We were all born into sin because of Adam. That is why Jesus came to earth. We needed a pure sacrifice that would cleanse us from our sinful nature. But sin is not just for the unbeliever. We still sin even as Christians. In this chapter we are introduced to the adulterous woman. Her story not only reminds us of the consequences of sin but it ultimately points us to the love, grace, and mercy of our Savior.
The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “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.”
“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery”.
The adulterous woman was publicly shamed for her act. That was her consequence. She probably thought that she wouldn’t get caught. She probably assumed she was flying under the radar and no one noticed her. But she was noticed and her lifestyle was exposed. Eventually, our sins have a way of catching up to us. Our hidden skeletons have a way of leaving the closet. Things done in the dark have a way of coming to the light. Even if it is a sin from our past, there are still consequences left behind. It can be physical, emotional, or spiritual. All of us have a past that we are not proud of. Even when we grow from our past it leaves consequences that follow us. The beauty of God is that even though we may face those consequences He still never gives us the full consequence we deserve. That’s His grace and mercy in action.
“They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such woman. Now what do you say?”
People are always so quick to judge your sin. I don’t know, maybe it makes us feel less guilty about our own. The adulterous woman had an outward sin. However, the Pharisees (the group that brought her to Jesus) had inward sin. They took pride in making sure that they appeared clean on the outside but inwardly they were filthy. In fact, Jesus condemns them in Matthew 23. Their sin was not as obvious as adultery but it was sin nonetheless. To us humans, someone who commits murder is more of a sinner than a jealous person. But to God, there are no sin levels. It’s all sin in his eyes. He doesn’t see the murderer as more in need of a savior than the person who has a jealous heart. In the same way that he didn’t see the adulterous woman more sinful than the Pharisees.
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her….At this those who heard began to go away one at a time.”
Wow. I love what Jesus did here. He played them at their own game. Sure Pharisees you can throw a stone at her, but only if you have no sin. He knew that at the end of it all he is really the only one clean enough to throw stones. Before you judge someone else, remember that you yourself are not clean. You have fallen short. We have all fallen short. My sin is not greater than yours and your sin is not greater than mine. In God’s eyes we are all sinners in desperate need of a savior. No one can throw a stone at you but Jesus. He is the only person who walked this earth clothed in perfection. We all make mistakes every day. Stop throwing stones.
“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one sir”, she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,”
Jesus was the only person that could throw that stone. But he didn’t want to. Instead, he offered her forgiveness. I wish we could be more forgiving of others as Jesus is. Who are we to harbor unforgiveness and condemnation when we ourselves are sinful? Who are we to judge when we ourselves need to be judged? Jesus will never condemn you for your sin. He will never throw that stone.
“Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Jesus does not forgive us so that we can keep sinning. He forgives us so that we can recognize we have been given a freedom we do not deserve. The adulterous woman should have died that day. But Jesus saved her from the hands of those that were judging her. In the same way, our flesh and sinful nature has placed a death sentence on us, but Jesus has saved us from the hands of the enemy. He took our death sentence to give us life. The only thing he desires is that we “go and leave our life of sin”.