Pella Chronicle

June 21, 2013

Where are your accusers?

By Rick Cowman
The Chronicle

Pella —

In the gospel of John, chapter 8, we find the account of the woman caught in adultery, and a beautiful picture of God’s grace.  The Jewish leaders brought this woman to Jesus, saying, “Moses’ law says she must be stoned to death.  What do You say?”
Here is a woman who has made some bad decisions in her life, and she was about to reap the harvest of the seed she had sown.  She had allowed herself to be used, abused, and now accused by others.  Now she was being dragged into the Temple court, or we might say, the Church.  As the Church, “what do WE say?”  Too many times we are confronted with people who have messed up their lives because of sin, and we say, “Disqualified!  You can’t be used by God!”  But the church is FOR sinners!  In Luke chapter 5, Jesus stated, “It is not for those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick!” The Church is a place for hurting, broken, and needy people!  And it’s that great need that attracts the grace of God!
Jesus’ response to their accusations toward this woman was, “Let him who is without sin throw the first stone at her (vs 7)!”  WOW!  Can you sense the weight that is being lifted from this woman’s shoulders?  Jesus then bent down and began writing in the sand with His finger.  Wouldn’t you like to know what He wrote?  Perhaps it was the sins of those who were accusing the woman.  Or maybe it was the names of the women with whom they had committed the same sins.  It’s worth noting that in most cases, the sinful action we are the quickest to condemn in others’ lives is the very sin we struggle with ourselves!  Think about that the next time you condemn another’s actions.  Whatever Jesus wrote in the sand, it gave these men an opportunity to consider their own hearts and leave judgment to Him.
One by one the woman’s accusers began to leave.  Then in verse 10, Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are your accusers?  Did no one condemn you?”  She answered, “No one, Lord!”  Jesus was the only one left who was qualified to accuser her.  He was the only One who was without sin, and He chose to forgive her!  Instead of condemning her, He freed her. Instead of looking down on her, He took her where she was and loved her.  He was more interested in where she was and where she was going than where she’d been.  I can almost see Jesus reaching down to her, taking her hand, and as she looked up into His face, He lifted her up to her feet, saying, “Neither do I condemn you.  Go your way and from now on, sin no more (vs 11)!”
This is the most powerful statement you and I could ever hear!  As we choose to look to Jesus for forgiveness and turn away from sin, He sets us free from our past and gives us a fresh start!  This doesn’t give us a license to sin more, but liberty from the very power of sin and the condemnation that comes with it!  Romans chapter 8, verse 1, reads:  “There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ!”
The question of the week is, “Where are YOUR accusers?”  If you’ve looked to Jesus for forgiveness, they’re gone!