Where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you? John 8:10
Jesus asked these questions to a woman caught in adultery, "in the very act", the account says. Imagine being this woman for just a moment. It doesn't say she was a prostitute, so I don't believe she was. We don't know if she was married, like the woman in Proverbs 7, or having an affair with a married man.
We can infer, though, that this religious posse burst in on her and her partner, and dragged her, not them, out into the street, and threw her at Jesus' feet. Imagine her shame, her humiliation and the betrayal. Her lover must have been in on it to have escaped without comment. Her "lover" was willing to risk her death by stoning to prove a point with this Galilean rabbi.
She was one hundred percent guilty as charged and she knew it. She also had to know that nobody had been stoned to death in Israel for adultery in a long time. Which way would this Jesus go? Would He call for her stoning? Would He come to her defense?
Several powerful lessons emerge from this simple story-
1. Sin is sin in God's eyes. He doesn't rank sin by severity the way we tend to do. All sin [our sin] deserves death, not just the ones "others" commit.
2. It is the ultimate hypocrisy to accuse others before God. It will backfire. The New Testament gives careful instructions on how to deal with sin in the body of Christ- with grief and humility, not self-righteous finger-pointing.
3. Jesus accepts everyone who comes to Him for mercy, regardless of the circumstances.
4. The most important words in the passage – Go and sin NO MORE. In our search for grace and mercy, we often forget our responsibility to repent, to change. By changing, we demonstrate that we grasp the seriousness of our offense, the reverence that a holy and just God deserves, and the depth of grace that a second chance brings.
5. When we have no other recourse, and find ourselves at the feet of Jesus, the only one who has the RIGHT to condemn us, DOESN'T. He delivers us from the punishment of sin, and from the baggage of sin, the memories, the shame, the crushed spirit.
If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed, as free as free can be.