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Neither do I Condemn Thee PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joel A. McNabb   
Monday, 28 September 2009 12:01

One morning Jesus went to the temple, and a crowd of people came to him.  As He taught them, the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman taken in the act of adultery before Jesus, wanting to try him to see if he would adhere to the law of Moses.  They said, “Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?” (John 8:5).  These sly old foxes (not knowing that he was the Son of God: the word of God made flesh) thought that they had the best of Jesus.  As they pushed the matter, Jesus, paying them no attention, bent down and began to write with his finger on the ground.  The scribes and Pharisees felt they were being ignored, so they continued to press Him about how He would deal with this woman.  When Jesus had finished writing, he rose up and said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”  Then he stooped down and wrote on the ground the second time.  While this may seem like a simple thing, I see it as one of the greatest things that Jesus did.   John did not tell us what Jesus wrote, and I have asked believers the question, “What did He write?”  I have heard several different answers, but no one could really say.

As He wrote the second time and they heard what He had said, the words convicted their conscience, and they all left one by one, from the oldest to the last.  Jesus stood up and saw only the woman in front of Him.  He asked her who was left to condemn her.  She replied, “No man, Lord.”  Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”  Herein is the key to knowing what Jesus wrote on the ground.  He told those that were standing there ready to kill this woman in a heartbeat, that only if anyone had not sinned, could they be able to carry out the sentence for that crime.  John tells us in 1 John 3:4, “Whosoever committeth sin trans­­gres­seth also the law:  for sin is the transgression of the law.”   So, what did He write on the ground?  God gave Moses the Law to show us what sin was.  On Mount Sinai God wrote the law with His finger on tables of stone and delivered them to Moses. When Moses came down from the mount and saw the children of Israel in the sin of idolatry, in his zeal for God and the Law that God had just given him, he cast the tables of stone to the ground, and it had to be written again by the finger of God.  So I submit to you that Jesus wrote the Ten Commandments with his finger in direct fulfillment of this prophecy (John 8: 1-11; Ex. 31:18; 1 John 3:4; Deut. 9:18).

 Jesus here shows the great love and compassion for which He was sent into the world.  Even the Scribes and Pharisees knew that they were not without sin, though they were the ones who kept of the law.  If you are a believer today, I am sure that at least once in your life you have heard John 3:16.  The following verse tells us that God did not send His son into the world to condemn it; but to save it through Him.  There are many out there that have been turned off to God, Jesus, and church because they hear all the “thou shalts” and “thou shall nots.”  The burden and condemnation that some Christians place on those that are living in sin is a far cry from why Jesus came to earth.  If the Law of Moses could have made those that were given it perfect, then God would not have needed to send His Son (Heb.7:19).   Why is it today that so many different denominations and Christians believe that if you do not teach and believe like they do, you are going to hell?  Yes, strait is the gate to life, and wide is the gate and broad the way to destruction, and so many today are on that road with no hope (Mt. 7:13-14).  What most Christians fail to see is that we are not in the Day of Judgment yet, but they will still judge and condemn.  Did not Jesus say, “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Mt. 7:1).  We see Je­sus telling the woman caught in adultery “go and sin no more”, not “my sentence is.”  Jesus did not even have to explain what he wrote on the ground.  The word spoke for itself.  Our job as preachers and believers is to plant the seed and to warn the sinners with the word of God; and let them hear or not hear.  “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Col. 1:28).  “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (Jn. 3:18).

Some believers today tell me that it is too difficult to living a holy life.  I tell them to just say no: be strong and resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  The enemy is only out there to steal, and to kill, and destroy what God has given.  When you feel weak and ready to give up, remember that, in reality, the way of sin is the hard way.  We see it every day, with the things that please the flesh so eas­ily accessible, but only bringing sorrow.

“If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?” (Jer. 12:5)   Sim­ply put, if you say it is hard to be a believer when there is no pressure to try to keep us from serving the Lord, what will you do when it is not so easy?  If you have difficulty serving God in the land where we are free to worship the god of our choice and the government does not keep you from it, what will you do when they begin to tell you where, when and whom you can worship?  Will you be as the stony ground in the parable of the sower, hearing the word of God and receiving it with joy, yet not having root in yourself, and when tribulation or persecution comes you are plucked up and go back to your old ways (Mt. 13:20-21)?

Those who do not truly hear and heed the word of God condemn themselves.  David said, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Ps.119:11).  Be­ing a true believer is a work.  Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me.”  How many believers have a Bible and really use it and apply it to their lives, or read the Bible more than once a week?   Of course it is hard if you do not know what you are doing, and have never read the instruction manual.   Have you ever been given a job that you have never done before?  The task before you may seem impossible, but with instruc­tions, and especially with illustra­tions, the job is more easily accomplished.  That is what God’s word is: illustrated instructions in righteousness, so that we will not be caught off guard or be found lacking in the way of life.

Jesus told us that His coming would be as the days of Noah.  We think Jesus was just saying that life will be going on as usual, and one day He will come back.  But there is more to the story on Noah than having our same old, same old life going on as usual.  Noah was warned of God that there was a flood coming and to get ready for the flood by building an ark that would save all who would choose to hear the preaching of Noah.  According to most, we are supposed to miss it and be caught up to meet the Lord, leaving those left behind wondering what has just happened; that all we have to do is believe in Jesus Christ, and we will be saved from all that will come.  It seems very simple.  There is no need to watch and wait. 

Noah was not just a carpenter, boat builder, or a zoo keeper, but a “preacher of righteousness.”  To those that saw what Noah was doing and heard what he had to say, he looked very foolish, and they chose not to believe what he was saying.  After all, no one had ever seen a flood, or even rain before.  But Noah believed it was going to rain, and a flood was coming, because God said it.  “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (Heb.11:7).  It did not matter to Noah if it had never rained before or that those around him mocked.  God said the rain was coming and a flood would destroy all that were not in the ark.  He believed and will receive a crown of righteousness for his faith.  Those who were dis­o­bedient to the message and refused to hear the word of God were stuck outside the door, crying for mercy.

Many years later, after His crucifixion, Jesus went to hell and preached to those that were sometime disobedient in the days of Noah, while the ark was being built, showing that they were not all wicked sinners, but many were merely disobedient children (1 Pet. 3:20).

Jesus came to earth the first time in mercy.  He showed us the way to order His kingdom, and to establish it like God has planned, without condemnation.  “And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness” (Isa. 16:5).  The word of God will convict the hearts of men and they will either hear the words of life, or they will not, and will suffer the consequences.  If we are to be that kingdom, then we too must have mercy upon all.  I, for one, have not seen the book of life, which will not even be opened until Jesus has reigned on the earth for a thousand years.

 Jesus told Pilate that his kingdom was not of the this world, and that if it was, then would his servants fight.  His kingdom is yet to be established; and if we do not have mercy that can be seen, we will never see that kingdom. This does not mean it will not come, only that we will not see it.  At this moment in time, the call is still out for whosoever will to come and drink of the water of life freely, but that work is almost done.  And with mercy, knowing the terror of the Lord we persuade men as Noah did, assured that the flood is going to come on all those that are disobedient to God’s word, believer and unbeliever alike.  Paul said, “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teach­ing every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (2 Cor. 5:11; Col. 1:28).

The world hates us.  Worse still, the Christian world will hate us as well.  The Jews of Jesus’ day, and the Romans which took his life, are the example of what it will be like when Jesus comes the second time.  The religious leaders of our day will be the same way; they will not receive the word of truth and will esteem it as foolishness.  They have already made their own rules and regulations, just as the Jews in the Messiah’s day made a law that any man who says he is the son of God must be put to death.  Today’s Christians do the same, branding as a false prophet anyone who would dare say that God has shown them the times and the seasons of our Lord’s return.  They kill them with the words of their mouth, having no mercy.  When Jesus leaves the throne of mercy, there will be no time for repentance.  Every man will receive according to the works done in this flesh, whether good or evil.  Many will say, “we have done all these works in your name”, and the King will say, “Sorry, I never knew you.”

For a sweet, merciful Saviour, these may seem hard words.  I ask you today to have bowels of mercies as God has, and maybe you will obtain mercy and will not be condemned for unbelief.  The Lord bless and keep you and lead you in the path of righteousness for His name‘s sake.     Amen.   

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