A Devotion Based on John 8.1-11

In the passage we just read, Jesus’ opponents were using a female adulterer and an Old Testament commandment to catch Jesus in a bind: would he let her go, and in doing so permitting someone to break God’s commandment, or would he allowed her to be stoned to death? Either way, they felt that they would have a strong case against Jesus. But Jesus’ comeback was a real “knock out.” – Jesus didn’t condemn the person, the prostitute, in a way the teachers of the law and the Pharisees had hoped he would. Jesus turned everything upside down and made the condemners stood condemned instead.

The way Jesus responded to the judgemental pressure given by the teachers of the law showed the prostitute that there’s forgiveness for her sin. People are paying attention to the way we react towards people who struggle with sin. If we hurt them through judgment and condemnation, then they would not be able to see God’s love and forgiveness through us. But if they know that we love them, they will be more open to us; we can then share God’s love and forgiveness.

Just like Jesus, we are surrounded by all kinds of people. Just as Jesus was being judged by the teachers of the law, we are also being judged by others. But that does not mean we should judge others in return. We all are sinners; we just sin differently. Everyone just think that their sin is not as bad as everyone else’s. That’s why we all judge.

But the one and only person who can judge is Jesus. He is the one without sin. Jesus has the right, the power and authority to judge. But He did not. Instead, he showed compassion. The compassion Jesus showed to the prostitute is the compassion that we should offer to others who sin. Showing compassion to others who sin does not mean we tolerate the sins. Showing compassion to others means accepting them as people but rebuking their sins. Not showing compassion to others who sin is like throwing the first stone at the prostitute.

1 John 1:10 says that if we claim we have not sinned, we make Jesus a liar and his word is not in us. Not showing compassion to others who sin is like saying we do not sin, and that make us all hypocrites.

The next time, we encounter others committing sins, let’s remember this “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”