Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. “Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?” “No one, Master.” “Neither do I,” said Jesus. “Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.” John 8:10-11 (MSG)
I think we all would find ourselves in shock If we were left with Jesus all by ourselves after being caught in doing something wrong.
Sometimes that is not the case when we fall short. We feel condemned, guilty, ashamed, and embarrassed. To top it off other people add to that shame by pointing to all the wrong and all the bad we have done. I think we too have condemned or humiliated someone by talking about them, criticizing them, and even judging them.
As we look at the scripture, I am in awe of the fact that Jesus does not ask the woman if any of those accusations are true. All he asks her is a simple question: “Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?”
The next sentence is Jesus speaking hope and acceptance into her life.
As I visited family and friends over Thanksgiving, it would have been easy for me to judge some of my family members and friends. However, the Lord continued to remind me that there was a time when I, too, was lost and without Jesus. I did not know what I was living for. I was selfish with no direction. I did not care what I did to myself or others.
I am thankful that Jesus still loved me while I was a sinner.
We all need to continue to love and pray for our family and friends. For those who are close to us but far from God, there is hope. Jesus is that hope.
I cannot imagine the woman lying down, dirt on her face, tears coming out of her eyes, and hearing Jesus telling her, “I don’t condemn you. Now go on your way, and from now on do not sin.”
My prayer for us is to continue to pray that our family and friends come to a point when they will trust Jesus with their life just as we have.
Be in prayer and spend some “noise-free time” with our God who loves us and has so much in our next assignment.
Today is a new day. Write down the name of that person in your family or a close friend; commit to pray for them like never before. They need us to stand in the gap against the enemy who is keeping them from the truth. It’s hard because we love some of the people while there are others we do not like. Let us be like Jesus and not condemn them.