The Adulterous woman; No more condemnation

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A story is told in the book of John 8:3-11 of a certain woman who was caught in the very act of adultery. She was brought before Jesus by the teachers of the law and the Pharisees who quoted the Law of Moses citing that such a woman, according to the law was eligible for death, and not just death, but be stoned to death. They waited for Jesus to answer, but instead, He bent over and wrote on the ground with His finger. They kept on asking Him questions perhaps insisting that He should give way for them to accomplish the mission at hand. It’s clear that Jesus stood in between and His word was going to be final.

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he  stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:7-11).

We cannot deny the fact we live in a society full of women and men who are ready to pinpoint our mistakes and shortcomings. We will all agree that a woman suffers more from the same people and society who are supposed to stand and protect her. In some cultures, she is not even allowed to talk or even give her side of the story. She is a waste of time and whatever she has to say is useless and baseless. She simply doesn’t have a voice. The culture, beliefs and whatever it is that rules over her life has brought her under total control. She is bent down and totally crushed. There are people in her life who dictate to her what to do and what not do. She lacks freedom, space and life of her own. Such a woman is always under much criticism and her life is at the mercy of other people whose aim is to trample her underfoot and make her carry burdens they cannot carry themselves. These are the ‘Pharisees and teachers of the law’ of our time.

The sad truth, however, is that there are so many women out there who have fallen into their traps. They have been dominated by them, and their oppressive, demeaning and unfavorable rules and regulations have taken a toll on their young lives. It has caused many to live in cocoons, bondages and slavery without their knowledge. They live in a manner likely to suggest that they are guilty until proven innocent. It’s because these guys always look at them with a judgmental eye. Their hearts are full of the same judgmental attitude like those with Pharisees and teachers of the law. They clearly see the evil in others while being blind to the evil that resides in their hearts.

This adulterous woman lived in such a society where everything was expected to be perfect in her life. Her life was being gauged and scrutinized under the law of Moses. She was caught committing adultery by the people who knew law more than others and she was immediately put under judgment. But this time, they decided to go through Jesus to hear what He had to say. I am sure these guys had stones in their hands ready for action. What they did not know is that Jesus was not an ordinary teacher of the law, He was the savior of the world and the entire human race, and though law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Him. He had come to save not to judge or condemn sinners. This is why He did not overturn the law because there was nothing wrong with it. He instead re-established righteousness on the basis of grace.

We all fall in the category of this woman in the sense that, in one way or the other, we have been ‘caught’ in our sins. Sometimes guilty consumes us and we end up feeling so terrible that we are even ashamed of ourselves. The enemy, the Devil is always ready to point an accusing finger at us. The Bible calls him “the accuser of brethren”. He constantly uses our sins to condemn us and more often than not, we agree with him. We tend to think that we are the worst people that have ever walked the face of the earth and this only compounds our guilt and terrible feeling that we find ourselves in the same position this woman did. She didn’t utter even a single word all the time her accusers were condemning her to die. It took Jesus for her to be forgiven and justified.

This is the same way it happens to us. Jesus is a faithful redeemer and Savior and all the time, he tampers justice with mercy. He always has the final say and even when we can’t defend ourselves before those who condemn and accuse us, He defends, saves, forgives and restores us back.

Jesus forgave her and told her she is condemned no more. Her sins were now forgiven and she was whole again as if she had never sinned her entire life. He commanded the woman not to sin again, not because she might be stoned and won’t be there to rescue her, but because grace had rescued her. She was now a child of God and possessed a new identity. This means if you are in Christ Jesus, you are a new creation and free from condemnation.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1‭-‬2