John 8:9-10 But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.
This is one of my favorite stories about Jesus. In this part of the gospel of John, Jesus came to a Jewish festival about halfway through it and began to teach that he was sent from God. Some people were curious and interested, while the Pharisees, the religious leaders, were furious. To test him further they brought to him a woman caught in adultery. They wanted to trap him so they could refute his teaching and bring him down. They were threatened by him.
Of course, Jesus knew their thoughts. He knew that if he did not say to stone her, they would accuse him of not following the Law of Moses. If he did say to stone her, he would be seen as unmerciful. So what did Jesus do? He scribbled in the sand, as they interrogated him, maybe as a sign that he was writing their sins in the sand. Then, he said something they weren't expecting. He said to them, "Whoever of you is perfect and without sin, you get to cast the first stone!
And what happened? One by one, starting with the elders, they all walked away. At least they were honest. This left only Jesus and this immoral woman. I am sure she was thinking, "Okay now I am going to get it". But then Jesus says some of the most amazing words she had ever heard. "Where are your accusers? Where are those who wish to condemn you! Who is left to condemn you?" She says, "No one sir!" He says, "Neither do I, go and sin no more!"
Many people feel condemned by the church. Many people feel condemned by other Christians. Many people condemn themselves. But Jesus does not condemn anyone. As Paul says in Romans,"There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!" Condemnation brings shame. Condemnation brings hopelessness. Condemnation keeps people from Jesus.
Do you feel any condemnation today? From anyone. From God. Come to Jesus and hear His words, "Does anyone condemn you? Then neither do I!" As we trust in this promise, we are set free to live the abundant life Jesus promised. It is by receiving His grace that we can TRULY sin no more!!