2 minute read.
Jesus doesn’t condemn.
When the woman in this verse met Jesus, it wasn’t her best moment. Naked, dragged from the bed of a man, she was at her lowest. The Pharisees were hoping to catch Jesus in a trap. They wanted to see how He would handle this situation. In one of my favorite scenes from scripture, Jesus kneels and begins to write in the dirt. Slowly, one by one, the crowd disperses. What He wrote is cause for speculation. But whatever the words were, Jesus diffused the situation without speaking. Even the Pharisees left. And when they were all gone, Jesus let the woman off the hook, telling her to sin no more.
Jesus forgives; we condemn. When someone does something of which we disapprove, we pass judgment. But God looks beyond the act to the heart. Jesus understands the human condition because He was human. The temptations we face, He faced. Where we succumbed, Jesus overcame. In Him, we can find freedom from our sin.
Why do we have such a hard time accepting Jesus’s forgiveness? Because we don’t honestly believe He’s forgiven us.
Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent. Currently, I’m reading a Lenten devotional with two friends on Youversion. A couple of days ago, the topic was on forgiving ourselves. One of my friends made this comment that I’ve been pondering ever since:
“Who am I to hold it against myself if God himself has forgiven me.”
Who are we that we can’t forgive ourselves when God has forgiven us? And because God has forgiven us, we need to forgive others. If we want to become like Jesus, we won’t condemn; we’ll forgive.
No matter what the sin, Jesus forgives. Once you’ve received His forgiveness, go and sin no more.
Lord, You are the God of forgiveness. When we lay our sin before You in our nakedness, You don’t condemn. Forgive us for not believing in Your forgiveness. Help us embrace the new life You offer us as You cleanse us of our sin. Let us move boldly through our day, knowing we are loved deeply by our Creator. Help us forgive ourselves, stopping the condemnation, trusting Your grace. As we accept Your gift, let us go and sin no more. IJNIP. Amen
Question for reflection
What self-condemnation are you holding onto today?