“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
In this episode of the woman at the well* some religious people brought a woman “caught in the act of adultery.” If I remember my High School Biology correctly, that means there were two people who were caught… but they only brought one. That means they were not interested in Justice, they were interested in catching Jesus. It was illegal, in Rome, to kill someone… yet the OT Law demanded capital punishment for adultery. Jesus’ response is brilliant… only a righteous man is able to judge. Jesus is the only righteous one. The elders understood what Jesus was saying faster, so they left sooner. Jesus offers forgiveness: “Neither do I condemn you…” but he didn’t just wipe the slate clean, he said “from now on sin no more…” The call to follow Jesus is one where your sins are forgiven, but it’s also a call to really follow him and (allow him to) change your life.
*There’s no evidence that this section of scripture, usually included here at John 7:53-8:11, was original to the Bible. However, it does seem to “ring true” to who Jesus is. It may not have actually happened, but it certainly does reflect Jesus’ message and ministry.