ABSENT WITNESSES – Part Three…


John 8:10-11 – “And straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?”  11 And she said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go your way. From now on sin no more.”]”  NASB

As we proceed in this incredible story of Love and Forgiveness and how Jesus dealt with Sin and Religious Legalist, I pray that you will refresh your memories of what we have presented thus far.

These accusers were demanding a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response to their question, “Stone her or not?”  Jesus refused to be caught in their trap and His response is a demonstration of God’s incredible wisdom. 

It is clear from what we know of Jesus that He did not want to stone her, but He could never condone sin.  He does not say that in so many words.  Had He simply forbidden them to stone her He would have alienated that group of Religionists.  They would be so adamantly opposed to any prospects of His being the Messiah they would believe they were right in rejecting and opposing Him.  I believe that Jesus was just as eager to save those sinful legalists as He was that woman.  He is not willing that any should perish.

His answer was “Stone Her!”  In essence, He said, “By all means, stone her, provided you yourselves are guiltless.  Let the one that is without sin cast the first stone. But, of course, if you have sin in your life and heart, you dare not throw even a pebble at her.”  Some have suggested that He was saying, “Let him that cannot sin or cannot commit this sin.”  I don’t know but His message struck deeply into their hearts.  I challenge you to consider that we can throw stones with our hands or with our tongues and both are destructive.

Her accusers one by one dropped their stones and walked away.  Jesus had brought them over to His side of the argument.  By their actions, they were admitting to their need for mercy and voted for this woman to be granted mercy. 

Jesus turned to the woman, the adulteress and asked, “Woman, where are they?  Did no one condemn you?”  Some feel that she got off too easy and that Jesus was making light of sin.  But that is far from the truth.  He was demonstrating mercy.

I ask that you remember that under the Law there had to be two or three witnesses to secure a conviction.  Now that the accusers had walked away, there were no witnesses and therefore no basis for stoning her.  Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go your way.  From now on sin no more.”  Wow!  What mercy and we all need mercy!

Forgiveness is a Gift from God.  None of us, even the best among us can earn or deserve it.  What could this woman do that would turn back the pages and erase this sordid page of her life’s history?  Nothing but repent! 

That brings me to the real question, “Which of us is without sin?”  What are we to do about our sin?  That is detailed in the Bible.  We are to Repent which means to do a 180-degree turn and go the other direction.  We are to Confess and acknowledge our guilt.  We are to accept His Mercy and then trust that Mercy.

Think about this woman and relate it to something in your life.  This woman had been dragged into the presence of Jesus.  She was, no doubt, filled with guilt, shame, and fear.  She felt that she had reached the end of everything.  Her life was over.  There was no horizon in her life that gave her the hope of another dawn.  She was guilty and doomed.  What a horrid place to find ourselves!  I have known the feeling of utter hopelessness.

Thanks to the Forgiving Love of God she found that this was not the end but the beginning.  I can only imagine the boundless joy that must have flooded her heart.  The Love and Mercy of Jesus had planted her feet firmly in the Land of Beginning Again.  God gave her the opportunity to make a new beginning in life.  Truly Mercy Rewrote her Life!

I need His Mercy all the time!  I pray that He will extend that Mercy to each of us and bring us into the fullness of the newness of life and enable us to embrace the Abundant Life that He promised to give!

God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in His Mercy, Grace, Peace, Power, and Love!