Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC

John 8:1-11
8 1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.

Imagine this: You are at church listening to Jesus preach and all of a sudden the service is interrupted as some of the religious leaders of said church bring in a woman who they caught running around with someone other than her husband. How would you respond? You would probably chalk that up as one of the craziest worship service experiences ever!

That is exactly what happened in John 8. Jesus is at the height of his ministry, teaching those who will listen at the temple; All of a sudden the Pharisees and other religious leaders bring in a woman whom they had caught in adultery. They had brought the woman in front of Jesus and all the people to try and trap Him. See the religious elite were tired of Jesus and all He was doing, so their plan was to try and incriminate Him. Jesus had a wonderful response to those religious leaders, but it is His response He had toward the woman that was even more amazing: I do not condemn you; go and sin no more. WOW! 

Jesus had every right to further condemn this woman. She had broken the law of Moses and in doing so she deserved to be stoned (Leviticus 20:10). However, instead of choosing to stone her, Jesus saved her. Instead of choosing to further grieve her for her transgressions, Jesus chose grace. In this encounter with this woman we see that Jesus both forgave her and freed her. For those of us who have repented and placed their faith in Jesus, He has done that for us as well. Praise the Lord!

When we surrendered to Jesus, He forgave our sins and freed us to walk in Him. Colossians 1:13-14 tells us that in Him we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins. Isn’t that awesome news today? In Christ we do not have to wallow in guilt and shame from our past, nor worry about God striking us dead because of our struggles. Listen, your past is covered in the blood of the Lamb and your guilt is covered in the blood. In Christ we stand forgiven at the cross!

Also when we surrendered our heart to Jesus, He freed us to walk in victory. The second part of the charge Jesus gave to the woman was to walk in the freedom she had been given. She wasn’t forgiven and freed to go back to the same immoral lifestyle she was living before she met Jesus. Her life was changed! Same for us in Christ Jesus today. Galatians 5:1 tells us that it was for freedom Christ set us free, so don’t go back to those chains. Don’t go back to the addiction. Don’t go back to the hidden sin. DON’T GO BACK! The awesome news is that through Christ you really are able to walk in freedom. 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that we have been given everything pertaining to life and godliness to live out this Christian life and not fall back into the same sins that will enslave us. When temptation comes, we can resist in Jesus’ name because 1 John 4:4 tells us that greater is the One (God) who lives in me then he who lives in the world. We are free in Christ! So walk in freedom. 

As we reflect on being forgiven and free, may that lead us to worship the Lord, thanking Him for what He has done. May that truth lead us to lay down the guilt and shame of our past that may creep up and walk in forgiveness, forgiving others as we have been forgiven (Colossians 3:13). May the truth of being free lead us to choose to continue moving forward, saying no to going back to the chains and saying yes to walking with Him.   

Dear Heavenly Father Lord, thank you for your love. Thank you for forgiveness and freedom in Jesus. Help for us to reflect on that reality today and may it lead us to worship you, lay down burdens at your feet, and help us to tell others about you. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Psalm 25:4-5
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.