Bible Reading: John 7:53-8:12
I sometimes hear comments like, “We should use new songs and not old hymns because this is a different generation.” I cannot think of a more foolish argument! The Psalms, sung by the Jews, spanned a period of a thousand years. Recently I heard a beautiful young singer in our church singing an old hymn to a hauntingly beautiful new tune. Charles Wesley wrote this hymn in 1738! The last verse of the hymn says:
No condemnation now I dread
Jesus and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him my living head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown through Christ my own
That could so easily have been the song of the woman caught in adultery and brought to Jesus! Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you” [verse 11]. For those in Christ there is now no condemnation [Romans 8:1]. Literally, the sentence we deserved because our sin has been removed. Jesus spoke the same words to this woman as he did to the man at the Pool of Bethesda who was infirmed for thirty-eight years, “Go and sin no more.” The evidence that someone has really repented is that they don’t have a desire to keep committing sin. “Go now and leave your life of sin” [NIV].
The woman had been exposed, but the religious leaders slunk away because they were afraid of being exposed! When sin is exposed and confessed to Jesus the blood of Jesus’ washes us clean. Literally, what we uncover, the blood of Christ covers! Corrie ten Boom said, “God puts our sins in the depths of the sea and then puts up a notice that says, “No fishing allowed.”
In our English translation the woman called Jesus ‘Lord’ [‘kurios’ Greek] [v.11] which can also be translated as “sir” or “owner.” In the Aramaic translation however, the woman addresses Jesus as MarYah, or LORD YAHWEH, which indicates that she had a revelation of who Jesus really was.
There is a Roman Catholic tradition, though not proven from Scripture, that this woman was Mary of Bethany, and that she was the one who was forgiven much, and so loved much. According to that tradition this was how Jesus became a part of the family in Bethany. It would be nice to know if this story was true, but certainly I can imagine Jesus taking her back to the safety of her own home and not leaving her for the Pharisees to come back and kill her.
Why do you think that Jesus did not tell this woman to repent of her sin?
Can you explain in a few words what it means to be free from condemnation?
What two different kinds of sinner can you see in the woman and in the scribes and Pharisees? Why are both equally lost and need salvation?