Guest post by Jeanette Andrade
August 30 Scripture Selection: John 8:1-20
Food for Thought: John 8:7, 10, 11, 15
It seems we all may have at one time or another “cast stones” at people that the Lord would never condemn. Somehow we set aside our own imperfections and errors and feel quite qualified to climb up on the judge’s bench and condemn people the Lord paid a very high price to redeem, people He loves with an infinite, unconditional love.
Condemnation comes in many forms, some of which never involve even pronouncing it out loud. Often, it occurs secretly in our hearts, and we look at the person with disdain instead of with the loving eyes of the Lord. Condemnation rejects and isolates the accused, sending them away from those of us who “have not stooped to their level.” But behind every one of those we would condemn is a story of pain, of abuse, of confusion, of loss, of darkness. That’s what Jesus sees, and He wants to relieve that person from such suffering and bring him to the light of life (vs. 12). If we cast him away, we will never be able to reach him for Christ or restore him into a right relationship with Him.
Condemnation is entirely contrary to the purpose of the coming of Jesus to earth. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17).” Jesus even taught this concept to His followers: “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven (Luke 6:37).”
This sometimes confuses people. They think that they can not call sin sin because they would be judging. Not so! Judging an action to be wrong is not the same thing as condemning a person for it. Jesus did not condemn the woman caught in adultery, yet He did tell her to “go, and sin no more (vs. 11).” Though He recognized the sin, He simply would not destroy her for her actions. On the contrary, He wanted her to have new life free from the pain that sin causes.
The Lord is always about setting the captives free, even if they are captive because of their own doing.
James 5:19, 20 puts it like this: “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” This cannot happen if we condemn the person. It can only happen when we live through the eyes of the Lord and extend His mercy and grace to all we encounter.
Digging Deeper (What scriptures can further enhance today’s reading?):
Getting Personal (What has God shown you in today’s reading?):
Confession of Faith (Example: Lord, based on Mat. 1:21 and 23, I understand that Jesus is God,
Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.):