But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
…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.”
Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”~ John 8:6, 10-11, NKJV
I can only imagine what Jesus wrote in the dirt that day. Perhaps a list of references, Ecclesiastes 7:20, Jeremiah 17:9, Psalm 14:3. Maybe a collective list of secret sins harbored by the individuals gathered around. We don’t know. But we do know that His actions changed a woman’s life.
He would not condemn her.
Her entire life, men have slammed her with either their contempt or their lust. On more than one occasion, both. But this one, the one they call Jesus of Nazareth? He silences the fury of the crowd with his voiceless response. He convicts those who had been so thirsty for her conviction. And then He speaks with words that are neither ostentatious nor impotent.
They dispersed, leaving her with her life.
“Does no one condemn you?”
Trembling, she barely meets His eyes. There, kindness gathers in pools—deeper than any she’d ever seen.
“No sir.” She cannot hold His gaze. He can see her sin, she knows it. Not just the fornication from which she’d just been ripped away, but the whole of it. Every evil thought. Every rebellious act. She is certain He knows it all. Shame ripples through her veins as burning liquid stings her eyes. If only the dirt would swirl around her—swallow her. Stoning may have been better.
“Nor do I.” Compassion lilts His voice. “Go, and sin no more.”
The tears fall, but they are no longer bitter. What manner of man is this? He would neither condemn her, nor take advantage of her? She’d never met such a one. Wonder crashes over her, and she chances a look back to him. He is waiting for her gaze with a small, tender smile.
Her breath catches short. Love. That is love! But not like any she’d ever seen among her people. Pure, unselfish, forgiving love. And he’d just washed her with it. In that instant she knew He was the Christ. Only the Chosen One could love like that—only the Messiah could forgive.
Forgiven. Released from the old sinful life. Redeemed from the demand of death, from a life of sin. She would not be the same. Ever.
The gift given to that woman on that day by that man has been given to me as well. Is my life the same?