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Posted: Sunday 4 December, 2016 at 2:26 PM

Go and sin no more

Bertram Charles

    Scripture: John 8: Verse 11 

     

    Jesus went to the Mount of Olive after a hectic day for rest, refreshment and to communicate with His Father.  Early the next day, He went to the temple to worship. While Jesus was there, a multitude of people  came to hear him preach. 

    He sat down to teach them about the Word of God with boldness and with authority. The Pharisees, Scribes and members of the Sanhedrin were also there trying to ensnare and to entrap Jesus with the intention of bringing him shame and trumped-up charges against him before the civil government.

    In carrying out their wicked act, they brought unto Jesus a woman caught in the very act of adultery. They brought the adulterous woman to be prosecuted and to be judged by Jesus according to the Law of Moses. But where was the man? I suspect that he was in the crowd. Perhaps he was also an accuser of the woman.  

    This was a clear case of “selective prosecution” in which prosecutors pick and choose who to bring to trial before the court. Only the woman was accused of committing adultery.  

    The Pharisees brought the woman to Jesus to expose her in public, not because of their detest, dislike and hatred of adultery, nor did they put the question to Jesus of stoning her to death out of respect of the Law of Moses because by custom and tradition the Law of Moses, with respect to the offense of adultery, was not enforced.  

    But in tempting Jesus, they asked him whether the Law of Moses should be applied to the woman. If Jesus applied the Law of Moses in judging the woman, he would be charged of usurping the power and authority of the Roman governor, or for taking it upon himself to condemn a person to death which, only a judge or magistrate can do. Jesus would be the prosecutor, jury and judge all wrapped up in one in making his decision.

    The Pharisees persisted in tempting Jesus and Jesus mercifully looked up at them and said: “He that is without sin among you let him first cast a stone at her.”  

    Jesus was not speaking about being entirely free from sin in thought, word or deed, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Jesus was asking the accusers if they were without committing any notorious sin, or were they guilty of committing adultery or any like kind of sin.  

    So often people in authority and some of us only focus and accuse those who commit grave sins but ignore wrong-doings. The woman’s accusers were guilty of committing the same sin, were convicted by their own conscience  and they walked away one by one. 

    By not passing sentence on the woman the government could not charge Jesus of acting against the lawful authority.
     
    The accusers did not condemn the woman and Jesus refused to condemn her. Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
     

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