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.” John 8:10-11 (NIV)
They have gone. They are the ones who would hurl their stones. In the Light of Jesus they could not stand. When their secrets are revealed to them, they realize they cannot proceed with their hateful intentions and still stand in the Presence of God. One by one they have seen the darkness buried in their souls. So they leave. The only one left standing with Jesus is the woman caught in sin. A moment ago she was in danger for her life. Now she stands near her Saviour. A moment ago the evil world would have done away with her completely. Now she has hope. Jesus asks her where her accusers are. He asks if there is any left who can condemn her for her sins. She replies that there is not one left to throw their stones. Jesus says something important. He says that He too can find nothing in His heart that wants to hurt her either. He says He is not going to condemn her. What does that tell us of the Son of God?
We all tend to look sideways at the next guy. If we are honest with ourselves we could probably think of someone in this very instant whom we think has a wrong attitude. There are probably more than one, whom we think are going the wrong way. Is there much difference between us and the accusers of this poor lady? Hopefully our incriminating feelings do not reach the heights of those who wished to condemn the woman or Jesus to death! Yet those feelings of reproach and distain can and do enter us all at one point or another. If we hold the righteousness of God as important, perhaps we find ourselves more conscious of the sins we find around us. It is great that we resist temptation to walk in a way we know would disappoint God. But should we ever reach a point where we can forget to be charitable?
The concern of Jesus is like that of His Father. He wants only good for people. Evil is here. We see the horrible effects all around. But God has a Way to restore things. He is working out His great plan of redemption as we speak. His heart goes out to His children everywhere. He is filled with love and compassion. The woman is guilty of her shady past. We too are guilty of our own secret sins. Yet the Lord wishes us to be with Him. He wants us to be restored. He wants our wandering hearts to return to Him. When all is said and done and we are left alone with Jesus, what will He have to say? If we fight the urge to leave as the others do, what Word will He give us? If we realize our sins and do not remove ourselves from His presence will He have a kind word of forgiveness? If we find ourselves choosing to be near Him instead of off on our own, will He give us the sweet command to leave our lives of sin? Will we receive that wish of His with joy and relief? Will we be more than happy to dedicate ourselves to a new purpose? Will we rejoice that our Saviour has not condemned us?
Dear Jesus, we are not perfect. Thank You for not rejecting us. Thank You for paying for our failures. Thank You for pardoning our treason and our waywardness. Give us please, the sweet command to leave our filthy ways. Let us know that the grace You show and the fact that we have found pardon, can serve to build us up. Let us realize that because You choose not to condemn us we have hope. Restore us then to a new life! Set our hope on You! Let us dedicate ourselves to being closer to You each day!