Did You See That?
“And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, [as though he heard them not]. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” John 8:3-11
I was often in trouble as a kid and even well into my teen years. I despised those who were snitches, and we would often say, "Snitches get stitches." I had a grade school nemesis who loved to tell on me when I did wrong, and I gave him plenty of opportunity to do so. Whenever I would get called to the principal's office, I would look right at him as I exited the room. I did not verbally say anything but he knew once I got in trouble, he would be in trouble next. This was a vicious cycle as my revenge would then land me into more trouble. My nemesis loved to accuse me and there were things he would accuse me of that I simply had not done. I would sometimes laugh at the accusations and there were other times when I had to plead the fifth.
Many of us have been accused by those who seek our demise and would love nothing more than to see us fall in our sin. I have been pointed out and accused, and many times it was justified. I wanted to cry out to defend myself but my actions betrayed me. I wanted to yell out, "What about you?" but I just knew that would make me a snitch. In my lifetime, I have seen scandal after scandal and it seems people cannot wait to spread bad news. Pointing out the faults of others somehow helps us to feel better about our own plight. We are quick to point the finger of guilt, but not as quick to forgive.
I am guilty at times of being happy when people I disliked got into trouble or fell into sin. I was quick to call out the fault, and I could not wait to tell someone else. I took joy in seeing my enemies mess up and get in trouble. In those instances of accusation, I failed to see my own self and the sin issues that were evident by my reaction. I was quick to point out the fault of others, but was slow to acknowledge and correct my own aggregious faults. In this passage, we have a perfect example of how we should act when presented with a situation of catching another in a sin. Jesus did not excuse the sin of the woman, but He did not condemn her either. He did not say, “continue as you were”, but He said, “go and sin no more”. In Romans 6, we are told to not continue in sin, but instead we are to confess and forsake our sin. Jesus' reaction was not to rile the crowd and start stoning this woman, but instead He showed compassion and forgave her. He did not shame her or wag His finger and He did not condemn her.
What is your reaction to those who are overtaken in a sin? Are you one to condemn or gossip about others while you continue in your own sin?Are you presuming upon the grace of God and continuing to live a life of sin and disobedience? Do you have compassion on those that are caught in sin and have a true desire to help them spiritually? Will you examine yourself before God instead of comparing yourself to others? May God help us to have compassion on others and to have a hate for the sins in our own lives. May we ever be mindful of our own condition, and may we obey the command of Jesus to “go and sin no more.”
Stay in the fight!