Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, Lord,” she answered. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Now go and sin no more.” (John 8: 10-11)
One of the first questions that children ask upon learning to speak is, ‘Why?’ Why must I go to bed? Why must I eat this food? ‘Why?’ becomes their preoccupation. – And that is exactly the question which the disciples asked Jesus. When they saw the blind man in John 9, they asked, “Why is he blind? And because he is blind, who sinned? Was it the blind man or his parents?” But how could he have sinned, he was born blind. Did he sin before he was born? Did his parents sin? The immediate answer of Jesus is no, that is not the reason.
The Bible says we have all sinned, not just this blind man. On one occasion the religious leaders brought a woman to Jesus. She was caught in the act of adultery. They expected Him to condemn her. The law said she should be stoned to death. How did Jesus answer them? No, He didn’t say, as they expected, go ahead, pick up a stone. He turned, looked at her accusers, then knelt down and wrote something in the sand. When they continued asking Him, He stood up again, and said to them, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
Let’s be clear. The woman was a sinner. But Jesus answered, if there was one man accusing her who could say before God that he had never sinned, let him be the first to pick up a stone and throw it at her. Not one man picked up a stone. The Bible says that one by one they turned and walked away, the oldest first, until only Jesus and the woman remained. When they had gone, Jesus turned to the woman; this is all He said to her, “Where are your accusers?” She replied that they had gone. Jesus said, “Go home; don’t sin anymore, your sin is forgiven.”
The miracle of God’s love is forgiveness. There is no condemnation for those who receive Him. But there is one ‘condition’ with the forgiveness God offers: When you cry out, “O God, forgive my sin,” Jesus said, “first, forgive those who have hurt you.” The hardest thing for you and I to do is forgive. But forgive we must. Jesus cautioned: “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15)
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities… as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:8-12)
‘Mercy’ used by kind permission of www.vinesong.com