Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU
St. John 8:1-11
Verse Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:10-11)In this chapter of John, we see two prominent groups of Jews, who join together to put Jesus in a trap. It is evident that, those who committed to maintain the Jewish religious traditions, (the Pharisees)
and those who have the pre knowledge of the Jewish religious works and oral traditions (the scribes) come together, to Jesus, with a negative intention to trap him. However, the response of Jesus resulted in a miraculous over-turn of the whole situation. It is true that any situation that is brought to the attention of Jesus, will have a wonderful ending, beyond human imagination.
Distortion of Justice: Scribes and Pharisees were scholars of scripture and traditions. But they neither imbibed the Mosaic Laws nor followed its statutes with a divine vision. It is too easy to spend our time and lives find fault with others. Their legalism helped them to judge others but it never helped them to have self- introspection. This is an excellent example to the distortions of facts, and the adjudication of the law, and side lining justice. Both Lev.20:10-22 and Deut 22:22-24, says; Punishment to both without any gender discrimination for adultery. What they interpreted is contrary to the intended divine justice. Had they been in pursuit of justice, they would have taken the woman to the appropriate legal authorities for remedy, instead they brought the situation to Jesus to use it as a trap.
Not Condemning but correcting: Word of God works as a multi-edged sword. Jesus condemns adultery. Adultery comes from the term ‘adulterate’, which means to contaminate or to make impure. So it contaminates the society. So Jesus wants to correct the society. Those who are unable to judge themselves have no right to judge others and punish them. Jesus wants to save the sinner whereas they wanted them to be punished. Jesus hates the sin and loves the sinner but they hate the sinner and love the sin (may be in secret). People with Divine vision are usually strict to themselves but very lenient to others, but even among ourselves, who are bought with a prize by Christ, are lenient to themselves and strict to others.
Jesus said her; “Nor do I condemn you”. He came not to judge the world but to save it. Law and legalism does not save humanity but love does save and redeem. For hating no grace is needed; but for loving grace is inevitable. Jesus never justified the sin but unequivocally indicated that what the woman did was sin when he commanded-“go on your way and sin no more”. Praise God He does not condemn us for our sins.
Prayer: Lord gives us Divine vision to see things through Your eyes. Help us to remember that we are called not to judge and punish others but to extend Your redeeming love and compassion.
Rev. Sabu C Mathew, London