Tuesday, May 13, 2014

No Condemnation

photo credit
This is a drawing that really spoke to me. It is depicting a scene in John 8 where a woman has be caught in adultery with the Pharisees ready to stone her. Jesus comes in a completely diffuses the entire situation. He says, "Alright, let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone." All of the men walk away one by one, for all of us have sinned. The woman is left with Jesus who turns to her and asks, "Where are you accusers? Did even one of them condemn you?"

Here is the entire encounter:
Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
John 8:1-11 (NLT)
I have always wondered what Jesus is writing in the dirt. It must be important to be included at all. It seems like it would have been something powerful for the Pharisees to back down so easily; they were always looking for a way to trap Jesus in his words. However, in this situation they were put in their place -- as sinners.

This is one example of many where Jesus completely diffuses a situation. I am constantly amazed at the power he has over people. But it isn't in a "I'm Lording over you" way. It is simply a loving and respectful way. He really does live by the commands Love God and love your neighbor (Matthew 22:37-39). He doesn't give into petty arguments or fuss over details. He doesn't condemn for wrongdoings; instead, he provides protection, comfort and guidance. 

There really is something powerful to living this way. To living a life that absolutely betters others. But it has nothing to do with dogma or precedent. It has nothing to do with having to be right or even heard. Jesus is the quiet counselor that helps others help themselves and then he goes on to the next group. It is beautiful. 

This is the kind of life I want. This is what peace means to me. This is the joy I want to feel. I want to live a fulfilled life that betters the world around me. Jesus is a perfect example of that. That is why I want to live like Jesus.


  1. I wonder if Jesus was writing out the sins of those around him, and out of shame they recoiled. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    1. I always thought so. It would definitely be one way to get the Pharisee's attention!