Many years ago, I remember getting upset when I heard some guys bad mouthing a girl who was promiscuous. Yet, they were obviously proud of themselves and each other at their promiscuity. I remember asking one of them if he thought God would judge those girls and high five the guys for all doing the same thing? I thought of this during a devotion this morning. We select our sins. And those guys aren't the only one who select sins. I do it. I get upset about people cussing while I gossip. I get mad at someone while they are dishonest and I tell a "white lie". I get upset for someone being lazy while all the while I am judging them.
John 8: 1-11, "But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act."
Let's stop right there. Where is the man? Where is the man? I heard someone say, in regards to this Scripture, it takes two to tango so where is the man? They only brought the woman! The Pharisees selected the sin! That is a shocker! Verse 5 says, "Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This poor woman was probably drug through the streets, maybe naked, humiliated by the crowds watching. She could get stoned for this and they only brought her?
Verses 6-7, "This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. 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.'" Now, that steps on my toes right now even as I am rooting for this poor woman! I don't think Jesus liked a tattletale!
Verse 8, "And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst." I bet those men could not get out of their fast enough. Wow, shouldn't I feel like that more often. Maybe I should practice hearing God say, "Jill, if you are without sin, then you throw the first stone." I would think twice about tattling to God!
Verse 10, "When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, 'Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?' She said, “No one, Lord.” Did you notice that she called Him "Lord"? The Pharisees had called Him "teacher". The most sinful person in the passage knew that that was her Lord. She knew she was full of sin and needed His amazing grace. "And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” I had never thought about this last line in the way that I heard today. There is not an explanation point like Jesus yelled at her, pointing His finger. No, it was just like a matter of fact - move on - it is over - go forward.
Even though, I have not thought about that last line not ending in an explanation point I get it. Recently, in a Bible study with my daughter and her friends, we read about 15 verses on forgiveness. It was actually very emotional. When we are forgiven we are told God forgets about the sin. Hebrews 8: 12, "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." Isaiah 43: 25, ""I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." Psalm 103: 12, "as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." Micah 7: 19, "You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea."
Let's remember Romans 3: 23, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..." Judging a person does not define who they are, it defines who we are.