John 8: I am not here to Judge

no condemnation

John 8 opens with the Pharisees bringing before Jesus a woman “caught” in adultery. The Pharisees came to trap Jesus trying to find some way to condemn him. They would bring him questions or situations that would force him to choose between the “law” and the government of Rome. Or the “law” and what the people wanted. The situations were no win in the area of politics. Whatever his answer the goal was to have some charge that could be used against Jesus either with the people who loved him or with Rome itself.

3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” John 1:3-5 ESV

Jesus always responded with the truth from God which frustrated and angered the Pharisees because the political game was not part of his agenda. In this case they wanted Jesus to condemn this woman to death upholding the Jewish law but then in turn violating the Roman authority.

10 “If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. Leviticus 20:10 ESV

The Pharisees brought a show and Jesus did not respond. Obviously the Pharisees were violating their own laws. They said the woman had been caught in the act but where was the man that was with her? Famously Jesus does not respond to the challenge but writes on the ground. What Jesus wrote in the ground is unknown to us but the net effect is that no one could stand in judgement. Only Jesus has that right. So they walked away.

10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” John 8:10 ESV

Neither do I condemn you. Jesus did not come to the world to judge it. Jesus came to save the world. Today right now is the time of grace where he wants everyone to repent of sin and find mercy and grace. Now is the season of mercy cling to it now before that season is ends.

17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:17 ESV

In a second act of John 8 the Pharisees come back to Jesus listening to him speak in order to challenge what he says. Jesus claims to be the light of the world. “I am” he says and it drives these religious men crazy because by making that statement Jesus puts himself on equal footing with God.

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13 So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” John 8:12-13 ESV

It is interesting that this encounter is listed right after the encounter with the adulterous woman. Because these hateful men bring up the testimony of two for something to be accepted. It makes me wonder if what Jesus wrote or how Jesus found no one willing to condemn the adulterous woman had something to do with the number of people needed to witness the sin.

30 “If anyone kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death on the evidence of witnesses. But no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness. Numbers 35:30 ESV

Jesus challenges them on their own judgment. His judgment would be perfect and would fulfill the law. Jesus states that his judgment is true because there are two witnesses both him and the father.

15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” John 8:15-18 ESV

Jesus is the perfect witness because he and the Father testify to what they have seen in us. Our judgment should be condemnation but Jesus is not here at this time to judge. He is here to save and in him and his prefect record will find us innocent. What an act of grace and mercy. What other way would be more fitting for God to reconcile himself to sinners and rebellious children? Repent and accept his grace for now is the time.

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