If You Want Fair, You Won’t Like Jesus

If You Want Fair, You Won’t Like Jesus March 8, 2022
“Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.” (John 8:11)
How you interpret Jesus’s words to this guilty-of-adultery-yet-not-condemned woman reveals much about your understanding of grace.
What do you think He means when He says, “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore”? Does it bother you that He doesn’t say more? Do you assume He is telling her to get her act together, or else?
Would Jesus’s answer change if He encountered the same circumstances with her a week later? Would His refusal to condemn her run out? Think about it. If she committed adultery again, with the same man, and found herself humiliated and guilty again – would He then pick up a rock and start pelting her until she died? Does His “neither do I condemn you” declaration have a limit?
When Jesus went to the cross, did He die for the first few sins you and I commit? Or did He die for all of our sins for all time?
I fear I want Jesus to demand more from this woman. Shouldn’t He say something like . . .
  • “Neither do I condemn you – now go and confess and apologize to your husband and your children.”? Or,
  • “Neither do I condemn you – now go get the guy you were caught in bed with and bring him here. I’ve got some things I need to say to you two.”? Or,
  • “Neither do I condemn you – now go to the temple and apologize to the priests who were just here. You embarrassed them pretty bad today.”? Or,
  • “Neither do I condemn you – now go join a church, get in a small group, surround yourself with Jesus-loving women, go have 30 Gospel conversations, and get yourself in some Christian therapy.”?
It bothers me, I must admit, that Jesus only says, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.” Is that it? What about her husband? What if he was standing there? Would what Jesus said to her suffice for you if it was your spouse who cheated? It’s not fair.
No. No it’s not. Grace never is.
If you are looking for fair, you will not enjoy being around Jesus. If you need fair, Jesus will always make you uncomfortable. Always.
Jesus “only” said what He said to this woman because He knows what we all, deep down, know and long for. When we are given a conditional list that is insisted on, we resist. It never works. However, when we believe we will be loved regardless of our actions – we are free to be. When Jesus said, “Go and from now on do not sin anymore,” He wasn’t saying, “You better stop it now because if you don’t, I will condemn you.” No. He was saying, “Neither do I condemn you. I never will. I will be condemned – once and for all – in your place. Leave your life of sin because it is killing you. Leave your life of sin because it is destroying you and those you love. I will never condemn. That will never happen with me. Stop committing adultery because it only brings pain.”
Jesus invites her into a forever and safe and loving and unconditional relationship with Him that gives her freedom and space to work out – with Him – her transformation. Paul said there is no condemnation for those in Christ. Jesus promises to us – just as He did this woman – that He will not condemn now, or ever. His words to her were not to “go fix herself” so she might earn more love next week. His words to her were words of safety and security that she would be loved forever. His words were a beautiful and grace-filled invitation to live life from a position of being confident of forever love.
If that bothers you, you’re starting to get it.
If it makes you uncomfortable, welcome to life with Jesus.
If you feel it’s unfair, you’re correct. It’s not.
It’s grace.

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