Read John 8:1-59.
The interaction between Jesus and the woman at the beginning of John chapter eight is breathtaking. It is one of the most beautiful interactions in Scripture. In two sentences, Jesus let this woman know that He accepted her, and He called her to stop living in sin, disobedience toward God.
In John chapter eight, some Jewish religious leaders took a woman to Jesus who had been caught committing adultery. While she was standing in front of a crowd of people, they asked Jesus what should be done to her because of her sin. You see, for the Israelites, someone caught in adultery deserved to be severely punished. To answer their question, Jesus looked at them and told them that the person without sin should throw a stone at her. What happened next was incredible. One by one, everyone who had accused her walked away until no one accusing her was left. They obviously walked away because they all knew that they all had sinned, or disobeyed God. After they had all walked away, Jesus asked her where her accusers had gone. She acknowledged that no one had condemned her. Then Jesus said two sentences that I believe changed her life. “Neither do I. Go and sin no more” (verse 11).
Jesus communicated two things to this woman in John 8:11. He told her that he was not condemning her for her sin, disobedience toward God. He was actually the only person there that day who was without sin. He could have thrown the stone at her. Instead, He showed her undeserved kindness. He showed her acceptance. He was not approving of her sin, but He was accepting her as a person, worthy of grace and a new chance to live differently. At the same time, He told her to stop living disobediently toward God. He spoke the truth to her to communicate that while He accepted her, He did not approve of her sin. All of this was done in love.
When we decide to follow Jesus, everything changes. He calls us to live for Him rather than live for ourselves. He calls us to live in a way that honors Him, which means we must abandon our sin. This can seem overwhelming or very challenging, but the good news is that He will help us through it. Asking for His help and our Christian friends’ help is a great way to strive to honor Him and abandon our sin.
You were challenged earlier in our study of John to confess your sin to God, telling Him that you are sorry for your sin. It’s important that you not only acknowledge your sin before God but also to godly, trustworthy people who can help you in your battle against sin. Determine today to acknowledge your sin struggle to a Christian friend and ask him or her to help you as you seek to stop sinning in order to honor God.