(1 Chronicles 3-5, John 8:1-20)
Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (John 8:10-11)
The religious system seeks those to condemn. I’ve often wondered about the story of the woman “caught in adultery,” how only the woman was caught (John 8)? How did the Pharisees only manage to bring the woman forward for the purpose of condemning and then stoning? The religious spirit always misses the forest for the trees.
When addressing the Pharisees, Jesus said they would rather take the time to strain out a gnat, making sure to be ritually clean, while neglecting the bigger issues of justice, mercy and faithfulness (Matthew 23, my paraphrase).
Jesus did not come to condemn us. He came to save us! Standing alone with the humiliated woman, He sends her off to “sin no more.” He lives perfectly within the tension! He loves us even we have been caught in our sin, but he doesn’t condone our sin. He’s perfect in every way. He never suspends His justice to provide His mercy. He’s both-and, never either-or. He loves us! He loves us! He loves us!