‘Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.’


“When Jesus had stood up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, ‘Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord. Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.’” John 8:10-11 (Read John 8:1-11)

The Biblical account of the woman who was caught in the act of committing adultery is an amazing portion of God’s Word to consider. The scribes and Pharisees were attempting to find grounds to accuse Jesus. So, they brought this woman to Jesus as He was teaching in the temple, saying they had caught her in the very act of committing adultery and asking Jesus whether or not they should stone her to death as Moses commanded in the law (cf. Deut. 5:18; 22:22ff.; Lev. 20:10).

Now, the Law required that both the man who took another’s wife and the consenting woman be put to death. This raises the question of why only the woman was brought in this case, especially since she was caught “in the very act.” Of course, the purpose of the scribes and Pharisees was to test Jesus and find grounds to accuse Him.

Jesus wrote on the ground and said to the woman’s accusers, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her” (v. 7). Then He again stooped down and wrote in the dirt. Verse 9 tells us that the woman’s accusers went out of the temple one by one, starting with the oldest, being convicted by their own consciences, until, finally, Jesus was left alone with this woman.

What Jesus wrote in the dirt, whether it be the commandments, the sins of this woman’s accusers, or something else, we don’t know, but all were convicted of their own sins and could no longer condemn this woman without condemning themselves (cf. Rom. 2:1ff.).

What can we learn from this? First of all, as sinners, we cannot judge and condemn another without also condemning ourselves (cf. Matt. 7:1-5; 18:21ff.). Rather, we ought to “be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).

Not one of us is without sin. We all depend entirely upon God’s grace and mercy toward us for the sake of Jesus Christ and His blood shed for us on the cross. When we admonish sinners and preach against sin, our goal is not to condemn others but to urge sinners to join us in repentance so that they, too, might receive God’s mercy in Christ Jesus!

We remember that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17; 1 Tim. 1:15).

Secondly, you and I can find great comfort in the fact that Jesus told this woman caught in the very act of adultery: “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” If anyone could have condemned this woman, it was Jesus, the holy and sinless Son of God, but Jesus forgave her sin and told her to go and sin no more.

We can find comfort in this because, no matter how great our sin, in Jesus, we can obtain mercy and forgiveness, for He came into the world to fulfill the righteous demands of the law for us and to suffer on the cross the just punishment demanded by God’s law for our sins.

The Bible tells us there is no distinction between Jewish and non-Jewish believers, “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith, in His blood” (Rom. 3:23-25). It is through faith in Jesus’ shed blood that sinners like you and me can find forgiveness from God and not be condemned (cf. John 5:24; Rom. 8:1).

Now, this does not mean that we can go on and sin freely since there is forgiveness in Christ, for Jesus says: “Go and sin no more” (cf. Rom. 6:1ff.). As those freely forgiven by Christ, we now want to serve Him and do His will. In this life, we will not be perfect — we will fail — but we continue to turn to Jesus for forgiveness and His help and strength to amend our sinful lives and live for Him (cf. 1 John 1:7—2:2).

O Dearest Jesus, we thank You for showing mercy to us sinners and pardoning our offenses for the sake of Your innocent sufferings and death on the cross. Grant that we not judge and condemn other sinners but share Your mercy and forgiveness with them so that we may join together in living our lives for You. Amen.

[Scripture is quoted from The Holy Bible, Modern English Version, Copyright © 2024, 2017, 2014 by United Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House. All rights reserved.]

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