John 8:11 – March 22, 2021

She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on do not sin any more.”] John 8:11 NABRE           

Jesus teaching in the temple sees the religious leaders bring a woman who is accused of being caught in adultery to Him. They are seeking judgement from Jesus; if He follows the law she should be stoned, however if He recommends stoning it makes His message of compassion and mercy seem like empty words. Jesus uses law and compassion against them, telling them those without sin throw the first stone. But He also knows it is illegal according to Roman law to kill. Jesus has those accusing her walking away timidly leaving their stones on the ground. The woman must be completely frightened, her hope is in Jesus, but He tells the mob to throw a stone if they can. The wisdom here is Jesus knows that no one is sinless, all carry the weight of sin. Those present may have different sins from the woman, but no one is pure. Jesus makes this clear. At the same time, Jesus who is pure does not condemn the woman, which must have been life-giving to her. 

Jesus adds a strange message, to sin no more. He recognizes she is a sinner but shows mercy. I think He also knows she will likely sin again, as we see He recognizes all humanity sins. But, Jesus doesn’t want to be known as One who says sinning is ok, so the challenge to be sinless, and perhaps with a special nod to her that He is there to help her remain sinless. We have this same opportunity, to go and sin no more. At least we should try! When we feel weak, or tempted we should call on Jesus, asking for His help, His mercy and compassion. Knowing He is merciful even in the face of sin we gain strength to walk more purely than we have without Jesus’ mercy.

What are your sins? Do you repeat your sins, sinning in the same way again and again?

We have this opportunity to go and sin no more, at least we should try! When we feel weak, or tempted we should call on Jesus, asking for His help, His mercy and compassion. Click To Tweet

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