"Forgiven and Free" - Jesus' Encounter with the Woman Caught in Sin
"So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first... And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; GO and SIN NO MORE.”” - John 8:7,11
This encounter in John 8:1-12 with Jesus reveals both the guilt and weight of sin and how people tend to respond to it when it is found out. It begins with the arrival of certain scribes and Pharisees who brought a woman to the temple who was caught in the very act of sin to see what Jesus would say and do about it.
Imagine being caught in your most HIDDEN and HIDEOUS sin and then being ushered into the very presence of the HOLIEST Man who ever lived. Such was the case for this woman who was brought into the presence of God's Son. But the hearts of these men were eager to see how He would respond to the long standing Jewish law.
The Law of Moses stated that there must be at least two witnesses to accuse and condemn this woman to death (Deut. 19:15). The Law also stated that both the man and the woman who committed adultery should be put to death (Deut. 22:22, Lev. 20:10). However, it is interesting that the man was not brought with the woman. This shows that this incident was more about accusing Jesus than it was about condemning the woman. This whole scene was set up to condemn Jesus, even though this act of sexual sin most certainly took place as we consider the unfolding facts of this public trial.
So what does Jesus do when He was confronted with this?
He stoops down on the ground and began writing in the ground with His finger. We may not know exactly what He wrote or why He did this, since the text of Scripture does not say, but we do know that the Law of God was written by the finger of God on two tablets of stone. What a powerful parallel it is to consider that Jesus wrote with His finger twice just as God wrote on two tablets of stone! Jesus is being questioned about God's Law and yet here is God's own Son. Perhaps, Jesus is giving them a time to pause and consider WHO IT IS that they are actually questioning and where the Law comes from.
Jesus had just stated to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first". The combination of His writing on the ground and these words spoken from God in human flesh convicted these men and they dropped their stones to the ground and one by one they left. Jesus knew that all of them were guilty.
So it was just the woman and Jesus who were left alone. Such will be the case for every person after they die...for each of us must give an account of our lives before God (Heb. 9:27). The reality is that we have "all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). "But God did not send His Son to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:17).
In the beginning of creation, if we simply tried to be our self, we would be a reflection of God. However, after the Fall, being our self only leads to rebellion against God. Thus, the only answer to deal with sinful self is denying our self and putting all of our trust in Christ and His atoning work on the cross. So in the end, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and daily denying one's self is the road that leads us back to our true self.
Jesus is the Savior of the world and the very One who can forgive us of our sins and be our Mediator between us and God. It is only through Jesus that we can be saved and find freedom from the bondage of sin.
Sin will only separates us from God...BUT JESUS reconciles us back to Him when we put our trust in Him. Jesus shows us that sin must be taken seriously but that He is willing to show mercy to all who want to be forgiven and free.
"Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
- Are you carrying a stone that you need to drop on the ground where you are not able to forgive someone or where you are harshly judging others?
- Are you committing a sin that needs to be confessed and repented of so that you can find true freedom in Christ? Look to Jesus who reorientates our heart back to the cross!