This morning I read a passage out of the book of John about the woman who was caught in adultery and who was brought before Jesus (John 8:1-11). She was accused of breaking the law and the sentence for this was to be put to death.
However a phrase stood out to me that I had not seen before: “Without Sin”.
“Whoever is without sin.” vs. “Whoever has never sinned.”
Depending on the translation we look at the passage in, most of the word-for-word style translations say “without sin” while many paraphrases and thought-for-thought styles say “whoever has never sinned”.
However, there is a difference between these two phrases that I noticed this morning. The literal, word-for-word phrase is in the present tense, while the thought-for-thought phrase is in the past. We all can understand the idea of the past tense phrase, because everyone has sinned before in their lives, but the present tense phrase is a little tougher to grasp.
“Whoever is without sin.”
When we look at this phrase in the context of debt and forgiveness like we have looked at over the past week or two, we know that when God forgives us, He “forgets” our sin, and our slate has been wiped clean.
If Jesus is alluding to this with His remark, then not only has every one of the woman’s accusers committed sins in the past, but every one of the woman’s accusers has unconfessed and unforgiven sins at that present moment.
Tradition holds that Jesus was writing their sins in the sand. He very well could have been writing these hidden, unforgiven sins out because they still needed to be resolved.
. . . In the Sand.
Jesus wrote these things in the sand – the least concrete medium of choice He could have used. It was very possible that almost immediately when someone left, a gust of middle-eastern wind would wipe the slate of sand clean and there would be no way of telling what had ever been written there.
This is how it is with God and our sins. While they are unresolved, they hold power over us. He doesn’t really bring them up, however, we consistently do. God wants to forgive us of our sins and wipe our present moments clean to give us a fresh, new start. He is able to do this when we are ready to confess, turn away from our sins, and ask for His forgiveness.
Jesus did not come to condemn us, but to free us from Satan’s condemnation.
Is there a situation that you are tired of fighting with and you need to confess and ask for forgiveness? Instead of holding on, why not share it with God? He already knows, but it is important that you acknowledge that He already knows about it, and then ask Him how to resolve it. Together, you and He will be able to solve anything that comes your way.
In the comments, would you share about a time when you experienced the freeing power of forgiveness? Did this result in a restored relationship? (It’s ok if it didn’t.)