“When Jesus had stood up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”” John 8:10-11
Feelings of guilt, condemnation and a bad conscience can often, if the conscience is not resolved, lead people even deeper into darkness, anxiety and destructiveness. The religious “police” had brought a woman who had committed adultery to Jesus. They lived under the conditions of the law, which are as inflexible as the stones were, which were used to stone people. The law was written in stone and now they wondered what Jesus thought, about throwing stones at a sinner.
Jesus, who now established a new covenant by fulfilling the law and at the same time taking on Himself all our transgressions, challenged them. He said, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” There was no stone-throwing that day.
Unfortunately, the religious leaders did not recognize Jesus. He was definitely not against the law, it was given by God, but now a whole new covenant was about to be established. Now God’s grace was to be revealed, but the price was high, it was required that Jesus should die in our place. Jesus is the Lamb of God, who came to take away the sin of the world. He was slaughtered in our place.
Jesus demonstrated grace and forgiveness. Jesus did not condemn the woman but acquitted her. God’s grace that we receive through Jesus frees us from guilt. The woman became free within herself and the burden of sin was lifted. Jesus wants to help people today too. And He does so by saying to the one who comes to Him today, “Neither do I condemn you.” Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, so when He says that to you, then it is more than just nice words, it is real power that breaks the heavy burden of sin on you and you become free.
Then Jesus said to the woman, “Go and sin no more.” It is only after you have been freed from guilt by hearing that Jesus does not condemn you, that you can move on and not live in sin. In fact, even these words, “Go and sin no more,” are more than nice words if it is Jesus who says it. In those words, there is real power that breaks shackles, habits and the power of sin and you become free. You can move on in life with Jesus and He will help you when you are tempted.
The woman’s conscience was resolved and she received a revelation of God’s grace. About the religious people, it says that when they, “Being convicted by their conscience, those who heard it went out one by one”. Unfortunately, their consciences were not resolved, but they departed from Jesus. The woman came to Jesus with a guilty conscience, but left with a clear conscience. The religious people came to Jesus either with self-righteous or already bad consciences, but left without taking part of God’s grace. The point is, only Jesus can save, not the law.
When you have received of Jesus’ mercy, the last thing you want to do, is to sin. God’s wonderful grace is the only thing that frees people from guilt and the pull of sin. Jesus breaks the vicious circle. Today there is freedom for you and your surrounding through Jesus. He does not throw stones at people but is willing to embrace, lift, help, forgive, liberate, love and reconcile you to God.
God bless you.
/ David Billström