Jesus was teaching in the temple courts. There were people gathered around him as he sat down to teach. In the middle of his teaching, the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery. “They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.” I can imagine them pointing their fingers at this woman as if to shame her. They were taught in the law of Moses to stone a woman found doing such a thing. They came to Jesus and asked him what they should do. Their whole goal in this was to trap Jesus and have a reason to accuse him.
Jesus bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger. They continued to question him, then he straightened up and had something to say. “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dirt.
Without sin! Who of us is without sin? No one is! One way to describe sin is from archery. It means missing the mark. Another way to define it is it’s going against the law of God or rebellion against God. Our sin separates us from God and can also separate us from others.
Getting back to the story, the Pharisees began to go away one at a time, the older and then the younger. Now the only people there left were Jesus and the woman. “Jesus straightened back 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.”
Condemn in the dictionary means to “express an unfavorable or adverse judgement or indicate strong disapproval of.” There are other verses about condemnation in the Bible. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1) “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:17) “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned, he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24) If we belong to Jesus we are no longer condemned. Isn’t that wonderful to mediate on.
Jesus commanded the woman to, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” Jesus tells us the same thing. We are to leave our life of sin and follow after Him. Is there any sin in your life today that you have been hiding from God or others? I would encourage you to confess it and turn away from it so you can be free. Jesus desires for us to be free from the bondage of sin. Come to Him today and let Him usher you into greater freedom and joy!