May 10, 2019
Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” John 8:10-11
It’s one of the most well-known stories about Jesus. Very condemning and judging people found a woman who was committing adultery. They brought he to him and told him the whole tawdry tale. The law permitted her to be stoned and she lay in a terrified heap on the dusty ground as the men shouted their accusations. What would the Rabbi say?
He didn’t say anything for some time. He listened, then he doodled in the dust. Then he looked up and said, “Let the person here who has no sin in his life throw the first stone.” Then he doodled some more. Who had the confidence to throw that first stone? She couldn’t open her eyes, waiting for the assault to begin and her physical pain to match her interior anguish.
What was taking so long? Were they gathering larger stones? What was happening? The Rabbi spoke gently as he stood over her, “Where are the ones who were accusing you? Didn’t even one of them stay and accuse you?”
In astonishment she looked around. “No, Lord. Not a single one.”
Jesus, the perfect sinless one, responded, “I don’t condemn you either. Now go and sin no more.”
Personal forgiveness is an awesome gift, and it carries personal responsibility. The response to receiving forgiveness is to be committed to changed behavior. True repentance is evidenced by our willingness to do this. Lack of changed behavior undermines my sincerity and invalidates my confession. Returning to my old behavior is unacceptable.
Obeying Jesus and receiving His forgiveness requires change. It’s my privilege and responsibility.
- Thank Jesus for the ways you have been forgiven.
- Think of the people who have forgiven you? Thank Jesus for them.
- Is your behavior different in response to being forgiven? If not, change it now. Jesus expects it, and it’s what makes you believable.