“But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, 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 8:1-11)
This is one of the most well known passages of the Bible. It is also one of the most informative (and hardest to live out) passages of Scripture. It tells the encounter of Jesus with the Pharisees and the woman caught in adultery. Jesus was teaching in the temple. The Pharisees bring in this woman that was caught in adultery and tell Jesus that in the Law “Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”
These Pharisees were more interested in trying to trip up Jesus then following God’s law. Jesus points this out to them when he says “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” Of course none could do that and they all walked away. As followers of Jesus, we are called to forgive. We are called to forgive because we have been forgiven so much.
But look what is said next. Jesus said to the woman “Woman where are they? Has no one condemned you?” When she responds no, Jesus said “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” Jesus forgave the woman but He also didn’t want her to keep on sinning. He didn’t condone or affirm it. He didn’t say for her to keep on sinning. He wanted her to live anew.
We are to forgive others and to love them. We are also called to not keep sinning. Because we have a sinful nature it is hard but we have the Holy Spirit working in our lives to change us. We should desire to be more like Christ. Jesus wants us to forgive and show grace and mercy. He also wants us to not stay in our sin but to ask for forgiveness and turn it over to Him.
This week let us show grace and mercy to those around us. Let us forgive. And let us also encourage ourselves and others to “go and sin no more.” Let us share the love of Christ to a world that is needing it so badly.