One of the most moving and intriguing stories in the gospels which so vividly illustrates the capacity of Jesus to reach out to the condemned and bring them into a place of forgiveness and restored relationship is that of the woman who was accused of having been caught in the very act of adultery.
The people that brought the woman to Jesus were vehement and insistent in their accusation. I have often wondered, given that it takes two to tango, where was the man she was with? That question raises interesting legal, religious, political and sociological points of debate. However, it is not our main consideration here.
What is evident from the passage is that the motive of the women’s accusers was impure, even downright damnable. Their main aim in bringing the woman to Jesus and posing their question was to ensnare him. A wrong answer from Jesus would be an opportunity for them to further accuse and ramp up their hostility towards him. After seemingly being indifferent to their constant baying for an answer, Jesus said to the maddening crowd, ‘He who is without sin should cast the first stone.’ It was a requirement of the law that anyone caught in the act of adultery should be stoned to death. None of the human blood hounds took up the invitation. One by one, they began to melt away before the very presence of Jesus, until it was only the woman who was left. Jesus asked her where her accusers were. She said they had gone. Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.’
This is an amazing picture of what it means to be touched by Jesus. This woman was touched by His unconditional love, non-judgmental attitude, acceptance and forgiveness. All these speak of His grace. The grace of God is the unmerited favour He shows to all mankind. That grace is none other than Jesus.
I don’t know what kind of lifestyle you’re caught up in. Are you trapped in a vicious cycle of life-destroying habits? Are you feeling condemned and in need of forgiveness? The good news is that God loves you and offers forgiveness when you respond to Him by confessing your sin. Your life will be transformed, never to be the same again. Just like the woman, you too can know the forgiveness of God through His Son Jesus.
Copyright Emmanuel Mbakwe 2013©
If you have read this article and you are not a Christian, I would like to invite you to receive Christ as Saviour and Lord in your life by praying this simple prayer:
‘God in heaven, I acknowledge that I am sinner and deserve to be punished for all the wrongs I have done. I am truly sorry. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to this world. I believe He lived, died and rose again for my sins. I repent of all past sins and ask you to forgive me because Jesus. I confess and ask Jesus to come into my life and be my Saviour and Lord. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me to obey you and lead me to follow you all the days of my life. Thank you God for giving me eternal life through your Son Jesus. Amen!’