I was thinking about the attitude of Christ in John 8:11. Specifically I was thinking about how He loved the woman caught in the act of adultery and how He loved those about to stone her. Because I believe He was showing love to both the woman and the group wanting to take her life. So lets start with the group about to stone her.
They (the Scribes and Pharisees) brought the woman to Jesus as He was teaching and said “This woman was caught in the act of adultery and the Law of Moses says we kill her.” What Jesus did not do was argue, point out that they forgot to bring the man as well, tell them their right or anything else. Instead He wrote on the ground. Now what did He write? I honestly have no idea but I like to think He was writing down the sins of those around Him. Not with names just sins and those around Him knew which ones were theirs but that is just a thought. Then He told them to cast the stones, but the first person without sin should throw the first one. Then He went back to writing in the sand. They dropped their stones and left.
So how is this Jesus showing love? Because it made them realize their own sin. It makes sense the oldest dropped their stones first because age brings wisdom and you are aware of your own sinfulness. You know your shortcomings all too well. By not condemning them of their sins He shows mercy which is love.
Now the woman. It is easy to see how Jesus showed the woman love because the Law did say to stone her. She was guilty of adultery and adultery was punishable by death. So Jesus showed her love by stopping the crowd from killing her. That is pretty loving if you ask me. But the fact that He says “I do not condemn you either” is major and has some major theological implications but let’s not get sidetracked. Jesus showed love to both her and the crowd in the same way He could have condemned them both. The woman for her adultery and the crowd for their various sins.
Jesus shows love that is clear in the Bible. Jesus says “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” – John 3:17. Jesus was not looking to condemn anyone Jesus was looking to love people and set them free. He goes on to say that in 8:32 “you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free (hence the website and tattoo). So again to be clear Jesus loved people right where they were at no strings attached. Just pure love.
Now some people want me to stop right there. Jesus loved and did not condemn stop now before you offend someone. But I cannot stop there because the story does not stop there. Jesus goes on to tell the woman “go and sin no more.” Well if Jesus was loving her He still is. Jesus loved her enough to save her life and then tell her to stop sinning. It is not good for you or your relationship with Him. Jesus loves you enough to want you to not sin. That is love.
So where are you at today? Maybe you are the woman maybe you are the crowd. I don’t know but I do know Jesus loves you. I live my whole life from that basic idea. It is not a bumper sticker or phrase for me but it is everything. I live my life as someone who has committed sins that would make your head spin but Jesus still loved me. He loved me enough to spare my life and to tell me to go and sin no more.
Just a thought,