Neither Do I Condemn You!
If ever there were a human with the right to condemn another, surely it was Jesus Christ. His sinless perfection and His ability to examine the thoughts and intents of the hearts of others uniquely qualified Him to condemn. But, in John, chapter eight, when confronted by teachers of the law and by Pharisees who brought to Him a woman caught committing adultery, He did not condemn her, much to her surprise (and, perhaps, ours)! It is interesting, to say the least, that Jesus’ critics made a point of accusing Him of being soft on sin. This was their point in charging Him with violating the Sabbath laws and with receiving and eating with publicans and other known sinners.
The truth, of course, was that there never was anyone who knew better than Jesus the damning truth about sin with all its wreck and ruin of vast numbers of human lives. No one ever saw it more clearly than He. No one ever fought against it harder than He. No one ever hated it more than He. No one ever suffered more because of it than He! But His mission was to seek out and save people who were lost because of their sins.
The men who brought this woman to Jesus did not care one whit about her. She was simply their means to an end…the end being to get to Jesus. The law of Moses could only convict her as guilty. I am convinced that in her own eyes she viewed herself as guilty and deserving of punishment (why else would she have remained at that terrible scene in John eight). But Jesus offered another alternative to her. He offered forgiveness.
But make no mistake, this was no cheap or easy forgiveness. This was not a simple overlooking of a mistake. It was not sweeping the dirt under the rug and pretending it didn’t exist. This was God in the flesh offering forgiveness to a clearly guilty and without excuse human being. And, in addition to that, He also held out before her the opportunity to begin a new life free from the sins that had led her to such a wretched display. There was something in the tone of the young Rabbi that convinced her of the reality of what He was saying. He had demonstrated that there was plenty of guilt to go around for everyone. Now He was offering release from the guilt. He was offering her a brand new start. She took it. When He said to her, “Neither do I condemn you,” though she could not hear it, He could hear the sound of mallet on spikes and feel those metallic missiles driven into His flesh. As this great release dawned on her, she could not see the blood flowing down at the foot of a Roman cross, but He could. As she left on the quest of a brand new life, she couldn’t know how He would pay for her new lease on life by allowing His life to drain from His body, but He knew it! Was Jesus Christ soft on sin? God forbid. He was death on sin! It brought Him death! But, thank God, it couldn’t keep Him dead! What do you think? Does this truth result in people wanting to keep up their sinning? In Christ’s Name, “NO!” You can be free today!