Neither do I.
Those 3 words mean EVERYTHING to me.
At dawn He went to the temple complex again, and all the people were coming to Him. He sat down and began to teach them. Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center.
“Teacher,” they said to Him, “This woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. The law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say?”
They asked this to trap Him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse Him.
Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with His finger.
When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Then He stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only He was left, with the woman in the center. When Jesus stood up, He said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, Lord,” she answered. “NEITHER DO I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”
When I got saved at 12 years old, I was forgiven for every sin past, present and future. When Jesus went to the cross and died for me, His blood covered me and sealed me forever as His girl. When you’ve lived the life that I’ve lived, and witnessed the evil things that man is capable of, and done what I’ve done, the shades of guilt and shame are overwhelming and suffocating. The darkness can be excruciating. It is a daily battle to “believe” what Jesus says about love, salvation and forgiveness. It can sometimes feel like His love and forgiveness are for “those” people – not me.
After all, you don’t know what I’ve done!
Some of the things were done to me. True. I wonder about the girl in this passage. A girl doesn’t wake up one day and say, “I’d like to have sex with a bunch of people who don’t really love me or care about me.” What happened in her life to get her to where she was standing in the middle of a crowd CONDEMNED as they enthusiastically waited to stone her for her sins?
Some of the things I did as a result of what was done to me-human response and conditioning. If you are told over and over that you’re unloved and treated as piece of meat without value, it then becomes engrained into your heart and mind that all of that IS true. Therefore, it becomes your truth. This girl was involved in a lifestyle that screamed, “I KNOW that I’m worth NOTHING! Therefore I deserve nothing.” – SELF CONDEMNATION!! That was her truth.
Other things, sadly, were just my own choice to sin. This girl was “caught IN the act” – actively participating in sin. And now her sin and shame was on display for all to judge and condemn.
If you’ve lived on this earth, there is no doubt that, at some point, you have been “condemned” by others.
To CONDEMN someone means to express an unfavorable or adverse judgment on; strong disapproval of and to pronounce one to be guilty-sentenced to punishment.
Jesus Christ knows how it feels to be condemned. He understands being put on display and judged. He was the only one without sin, yet they CONDEMNED Him. The only reason He went to the cross was to pay our debt. When you have a relationship with Jesus, you ARE forgiven. You are no longer condemned.
So WHY do YOU constantly keep condemning yourself? It’s horrible when others condemn us. It’s WORSE when we do it to ourselves. How sad it is to carry that condemnation “crud” around when it cost Jesus SO much to take it away.
You may find yourself standing on display at the center of your sin, with fellow sinners clenching the rocks that they can’t wait to chuck at you, cheering for you to be stoned-demanding that you be condemned.
YOU might be the loudest one screaming…”Stone me. I deserve it!”
But Jesus is the only one who has the authority to condemn us.
No matter where you find yourself today, there is One who stands for you, with you, never leaving you, never lying to you, never betraying you, always loving, faithful, good and true. All your failures, choices, crud…NOTHING can make Him stop loving you. EVER. Jesus WILL forgive. Always.
What human can condemn us? No one.
And Jesus’ reply is, “Neither do I.”