“Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, ‘Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?’ ‘No, Lord,’ she said. And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I. Go and sin no more.’”
—John 8:10-11 NLT
Maybe you already know this story. It is about a woman caught in the act of adultery who was dragged by the religious leaders to the feet of Jesus while he was teaching in the temple.
Her accusers told Jesus, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” He ignored them at first, writing in the sand, but when he realized that they weren’t going to go away, Jesus replied, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:4-5, 7 ESV).
One at a time the men left, leaving the woman alone with Jesus. He asked her, “‘Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?’ ‘No, Lord,’ she said. And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I. Go and sin no more’” (John 8:10-11 NLT).
“Neither do I.” What powerful words. Jesus, the one who would soon die in that woman’s place on the cross, looked her in the eyes and said, “I don’t condemn you either.”
In a way we are all that woman. None of us is perfect (see Romans 3:23) and no matter how “big” or “small” our sins are, we all have some reason to feel ashamed when we approach Jesus.
But remember that Jesus has already paid our debt. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 ESV).
And to you and me, with all our mistakes, Jesus also says, “Neither do I condemn you.”
Here is a simple prayer to carry with you today:
Breathe in: Jesus, you don’t condemn me;
Breathe out: Help me receive your love.