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April 18: “Then Neither Do I Condemn You…”

April 18th, 2019

 

 

Scripture: John 8:2-11

2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 

11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.

 

Reflection

Jesus is forever doing the unexpected. In the midst of a tenuous moment, when Jesus of all people could have condemned this woman, He does the opposite. Instead, Jesus invites her into relationship with Him. He allows her to go away without shame, without fear of condemnation, simply with the invitation to live differently.

As followers of Jesus, this is hard to emulate. We often struggle with judgment, accusing people of their sin, or condemning ourselves for sins we have committed. But if Jesus isn’t condemning us, but instead inviting us into relationship, perhaps it’s time for us to do the same.

 

Reflection Questions

  • Is there someone in your life you need to invite into relationship instead of exuding condemnation? How can you tangibly take steps towards this?
  • What is an area you need to stop condemning yourself in so that you can live fully free in relationship with Jesus?

 

Soul Care Practice

Morning
Become aware of God’s loving presence and imagine Jesus saying these words to you: “Then neither do I condemn you…” Talk with Jesus about any thoughts, reflections, challenges, and emotions that come up within you. How can you embody these words and follow Christ in your home, neighborhood, and workplace?

Evening
Read Jesus’ words again slowly: “Then neither do I condemn you…” How did these words shape and guide you today? Pray your thoughts, desires, needs, struggles, and joys from today. As you go to bed, rest in God’s presence.

 

Blessing

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

 

 

Written by Lisette Fraser, Lead Family Pastor