Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before Him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.” John 8:9-11
Jesus did not do away with the law of Moses. He simply applied it to the woman’s accusers. They desired to see her pay for her sin but all the while, they turned a blind eye to their own sinfulness; sins that also required judgment by law. God does not pro-rate sin.
As the sun continued to rise in the early morning dawn, the judges disappeared. The voyeurs fled. The accusers vanished. Stones hit the ground one by one and as they fell, I can imagine the woman’s disbelief. The iron grips on her arm loosened as the vengeance of the hot blooded Pharisees began to dissipate under the convicting presence of Jesus.
Within minutes, there were only two people left standing there. The warming rays of the sun bathed the encounter between Jesus and the woman as they faced each other. She had never seen such a pure gaze that resonated nothing but love and compassion.
John revealed Jesus in the beginning of this book as ‘full of grace and truth.’ Never did a story showcase this better than this particular one. Jesus was gracious and truthful. He withheld condemnation but, simultaneously, told her the truth about a needed change in her lifestyle. “Go, and do not sin again.”
I do not know what happened to the woman when she went home. Did her friends continue to point the finger? Did her family shun her? Would the man with whom she’d been involved with punish her for turning him down the next time? If so, she would gain strength as she re-lived those beautiful moments with Jesus. She would remember how He addressed her tenderly and gave her a gift no one had ever given her; love, forgiveness, and a fresh start.
Sometimes, others never forget our sins. But you, Lord? I rehearse the beautiful moments you touched me and forgave me. Amen