Gospel of John 7:53-8:1-11
53 Then they all went home, 8 1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
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.”
Jesus depicted Forgiveness, Redemption and Love
What does it look like to be a community of people who refuse to be the ones to cast the first stone? How can we as a body learn from the Pharisees? I am sure we can all think of the times we have been the Pharisees, throwing the doctrine of the law at a brother or sister entangled in sin. The truth is that when we are wronged, we want to feel like we deserve to be angry with someone-that we are justified in withholding our love from them because, as an act of their free will, they have wronged us. And we might be technically right. But just like Jesus encourages in the preceding passage, before we “stone” the perpetrator, we need to remember the cross. We need to wait a second, take a deep breath, and remember what Jesus has done for us.
You might think that no one can know your pain, that no one has ever experienced the kind of betrayal that you have, that no one can relate. Just when we think this, I want to encourage you to lean into Jesus and hear His voice that says, “I do remember. I was once betrayed by you, but I died for you anyway. I battled death and rose to victory and remember your sins no more, so that you can experience life.”
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Matthew 6:12)
13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)
Tips to achieve freedom in forgiveness
The amazing thing about forgiveness is that you will be more aware of the heart and power of God than ever before. When you forgive like Jesus, you experience a tangible taste of Heaven, and there is nothing like it! The freedom on the other side of the pain is worth it!
I want you to visualize this for a moment-Helpful exercise is to do the following:
-Remember your sin and the life you experienced when Jesus forgave you.
-Ask Jesus to show you what He thinks of the person who wronged you.
-Allow Jesus to take the weight of the pain upon His shoulders and to allow you to remember the perpetrator’s sins no more. Then give what you have been freely given.
1. Do you feel enslaved by forgiveness? Why or why not?
2. What is stopping you from stepping into the freedom light of forgiveness?
Take time to pray. Pray for a softening of hearts. Pray that the love of Jesus has shown you will allow you to show the same love to others. Pray to be encouraged with the boldness to come before God and ask Him who needs to be forgiven in their life.