John 8:10-11: When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
Jesus is not an accuser. He did not come to condemn. The story of the adulteress in John 8 makes this very clear. The Pharisees bring a woman to Jesus and tell Him she has been caught in the very act of committing adultery. Jesus responds brilliantly – in a way which not only honors the Jewish law, but also illuminates the freedom from sin that is granted through – and only through – Jesus Christ. He does not excuse the woman’s sin, but He challenges the Pharisees, urging them to acknowledge and address their own sin before condemning others.
Jesus is not an accuser. He did not come to condemn. Yet so often the church community tries to make Him out to be an accuser – not because it is in His nature, but because it is in ours. We all (yes, even Christians!) are naturally predisposed to condemn others while ignoring our own faults. Quite often, we even condemn others and claim to do it in the name of Christianity, religion, or even Jesus Christ Himself. Yet Jesus Christ showed mercy to sinners – to those who needed forgiveness the most.
In fact, the only people Jesus makes a point of accusing are the Pharisees. Some honest self-reflection might prompt this question: have some of us become accidental Pharisees? Have some of us become so caught up in pointing out the sins and faults in other people that we have taken on a prerogative that we were never meant to have? Has the Christian community become so self-righteous that we have taken on a supposed responsibility that Jesus Himself would not even assume?
There is complete freedom in Jesus Christ. A genuine relationship with the Son of God should not revolve around feelings of guilt and condemnation. Similarly, a genuine church community should not focus on making you feel guilty and condemned. Yes, Jesus’ final command after pardoning the adulteress in John 8 is paramount: “Go and sin no more.” We should never ignore Jesus’ command not to sin. However, we should always make others aware of this command with love, and without condemnation. Most importantly, we should recognize that His command applies to all of us – including you, and including me.
Jesus is not an accuser, and neither should we be.
John 3:17: For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
-by Pastor Mike White