John 8 The Message (MSG)
Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them.
The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, “Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.
Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.
Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. “Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?”
“No one, Master.”
“Neither do I,” said Jesus. “Go on your way. From now on, do not sin."
Go and sin no more. He forgave her instead of condemning her to death for it. Jewish Law required that anyone caught in the act of adultery be stoned to death. This woman was brought before her Savior naked and afraid. Caught in the very act of her sin. I highly doubt she thought of forgiveness. She knew 100% that she was going to die. Until she looked into His eyes.
Can you imagine? The humiliation. Maybe even defiance. And where was her lover? I imagine her at His feet. Tears falling on his dusty sandals. Each drop a drop of shame. She hears His voice, "Where are they?" She glances out from under her hair that has fallen across her face. Probably shocked and wondering about this God become flesh who is standing before her. Her fate in His hands. When Jesus speaks to you, you can't but knowing who He is. "Go back to your life and quit living this way."He didn't tell her she was dirty. He didn't ask her why or call her a fool. He told her to stop and live.
Jesus said He came to set us free from the Law. To give us a second chance. When we choose to follow Him, we should no longer want to do those things that the Law forbid. Notice the word "should". Are you still going to want to sin? You betcha. And that's where conviction comes in to the story.
When we know Jesus, we shouldn't want to do anything that would cause Him to grieve over us. When He stretched out His arms and died on that cross for you and for me His last words were, "It is finished." My friend, the way you were is finished. Taken care of. Paid in full. If only you will believe.
When Jesus is your Master, He will whisper to you when you find yourself turning back to your old ways. "What are you doing? Why are you thinking like that? Don't you know you are mine?"
And at the same time Satan will be shouting, "Do what feels good! Who cares what they think! You've got all the time in the world to make up for it! You already thought about it. Might as well do it!" That's condemnation. Satan will tell you that you are doomed already and you might as well.
Jesus says, "Turn back. Look up. Stop. Go and sin no more. Live." That's conviction.
If you are feeling that tug on your heart today, then I invite you to find a quiet place and talk to Him. Ignore the condemnation. You are good enough to approach Him. You deserve forgiveness if you will ask Him for it. You can, "Go back to your life and sin no more!"