I don’t know how many times I hear of people, and have had it said to me, that someone else’s sin is worse than whatever their sin is. It’s like people believe there is a big list ranging from number one to…however many sins there are. And on that list is ranked the least sin to the greatest, with the greatest as being number 1. “Well, what they did is way worse than my lies, or my speeding, or my (fill in the blank)…,” they say.
I don’t know why we do that. I guess it’s human nature. Maybe we try to make ourselves look better, or take the focus off our own sins and put it onto someone else so that we don’t have to face, or give account for, our sins.
The Adulterous Woman
In John 8 we read about the adulterous woman. The Pharisees were always trying to test Jesus, and this time they (and the scribes) brought a woman caught in the “very act” of adultery to Him. They quoted the Law of Moses in which the Israelites were commanded to stone the woman and then asked Jesus what he had to say about it.
Reading further, we find out that Jesus simply bent down and wrote something on the ground. I’ve always been curious as to what he may have written. Did he write, “Not Guilty” or did he write a scripture?
When He stands up again, Jesus says, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her (vs. 7).” Then He bends down and wrote on the ground again.
Just Walk Away…
Those who were accusing this woman began to walk away, one by one, beginning with the older men. When I was in university (my degree is in Biblical Studies), a prof once told us that the understanding as to why the older men were the last to leave, was that the younger men would have had less sin than the older ones. This was, of course, due to age; the older men had lived longer and would have had more time to commit more sin.
The men all left until Jesus was the only one remaining with the woman. None of the scribes and Pharisees condemned her, because they had sin in their lives as well.
Jesus Has No Sin
Note that Jesus is the only one who has absolutely no sin in His life. Yet, rather than stoning the woman (and He could have done that since His command was that those who had no sin could throw the first stone), He told the woman that He also didn’t condemn her, and that she could go, but His only stipulation was to “sin no more.”
One thing that has interested me about this story, is that only the woman was brought to be stoned. Last time I checked, adultery involves two people. So, where was the man? Why wasn’t he being brought along to be stoned?
But that’s a post for another time…
There Is No Condemnation
In this post, I want to focus on the fact that Jesus didn’t condemn the woman for her sin. And, just like he her, Jesus doesn’t condemn you for your sin either. He also doesn’t condemn me for mine.
My friend, Jesus went to the cross for you. He took all your sins on Himself, and died for you. He doesn’t condemn you for the things you have said and done. He loves you!
“I do not condemn you, either.” Jesus says.
You do need to be aware, however, that just because God does not see one sin as being worse than another, that doesn’t give us liberty to keep sinning. Jesus told the adulterous woman to, “Go. From now on sin no more.”
We still have to do our best to refrain from sin, though it will happen because we’re human, but it doesn’t give us an excuse to purposefully sin.
Friends, I want you to know that it really doesn’t matter what you have said or done. The Lord does not condemn you, and if you ask for forgiveness, you will be forgiven. Jesus loves you so much, and He is waiting for you to reach out to Him.
Take His hand, and feel no condemnation.