John 8 includes the story of the woman caught in adultery. For many, the most memorable piece of this story is in John 8:7 when Jesus says to the woman’s accusers, “let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” This sentence is incredible. It’s not the only powerful words Jesus speaks in this narrative though (go figure, Jesus saying powerful words). In John 8:11, Jesus addresses the woman now that her accusers have left and He tells her, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from no on sin no more.” This story addresses two extremes that our nature seems to pull us toward. On the one hand, there is a temptation to act like the accusers in this story. We want to punish and condemn others without examining our own sinfulness. Jesus’ words here speak to that and instruct us to reject that temptation. On the other hand, however, there is a temptation to stop there, to not finish the story and come away with only the idea that we shouldn’t judge others. But Jesus doesn’t tell the woman that adultery is acceptable, He doesn’t pretend nothing has gone wrong, He simply says “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” We are not called to mete out punishment, we are not called to serve as judge, jury, and executioner. We are called to rely on the grace of Christ and then to go and sin no more – not to justify ourselves or save ourselves from punishment, but simply because that’s what Jesus instructs us to do.
Today’s B.I.B.L.E. Takeaways:
Blessings from God
On the cross, the words Jesus speaks to this woman become ours as well, “neither do I condemn you.”
Instructions for Us
Even though our salvation doesn’t depend on it we are called to “go and sin no more.”
This story does not directly connect with other parts of the Bible, other than being part of a continuous story.
Nothing in these verses strikes me as particularly difficult to deal with.
John 8:11 stands out to me as a favorite verse, a simple reminder of the grace we’re given and the lives we’re called to.
Topics to Pray About:
- Thank God for showing grace to people like us who don’t deserve it.
- Confess to God the times that you condemn others or choose to not struggle against your own sinfulness.
- Ask for the Holy Spirit’s help in relying on God’s grace and living in His will.
In His Service,