A woman committing adultery was caught by the religious leaders and brought before Jesus. How they caught her and where was the man would be interesting questions, but Jesus did not ask. Instead, they challenged Jesus, “In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” (John 8:5). Would the one who claimed to be the Son of God execute God’s justice? Jesus bent down and began writing in the dirt. Many have guessed at what he wrote, but it does not matter. He simply took his time and unnerved the accusers, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7). The Judge rendered his judgment, and one by one, the prosecution walked away.
Only one person standing there could throw a stone, but he did not. Jesus freed the sinful woman (for she indeed was guilty) from her accusers. Now he would free her from her sin. “Has no one condemned you?” Jesus asked. She shook her head no. “Neither do I,” said the one who could have, “now stop sinning” (John 8:10-11).
“Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin” (John 8:34). The scribes and Pharisees, accusing the woman, were slaves to sin themselves (none picked up a stone). A religion consumed only with sin seeks only to condemn, an effort, I suppose, to make oneself better by comparison. But the One without sin seeks to set you free, “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17).
Father of grace and mercy, I have given You every reason to condemn me and cast me away. By Your mercy, you do not give me what I deserve, but You paid the penalty for me. By Your grace, you give me what I do not deserve and call me righteous and holy, a saint.
May I learn from Your grace and mercy and do the same in this world. May I be one who does not condemn, but restores. May I be one who gives grace and shows love to others, no matter what they deserve. May I love my friends and my enemies, my neighbor as myself.