Remember ‘Go now, don’t sin any more.’ (John 8:11)
The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman along … and making her stand there in full view of everybody, they said to Jesus, ‘Master, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery, and Moses has ordered us in the Law to condemn women like this to death by stoning. What have you to say?‘
As they persisted with their question, he … said,
‘If there is one of you who has not sinned,
let him be the first to throw a stone at her’.
When they heard this they went away one by one,….
Jesus said, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’
‘No one, sir’ she replied.
‘Neither do I condemn you,’ said Jesus ‘go now, and don’t sin any more.’
We like to think that if something went wrong,
we’d get a second chance.
We hope we would not be written off for our poor choices
Whether it be a selfish mistake in a relationship,
a mis-judgement in work,
a let-down in love,
a slippage in greed,
An unkind, untruthful, stabbing word of gossip or criticism,
or a ‘deliberate’ accident.
Jesus does not condone our mistakes because
He sees more in us than our mistakes.
We are not our mistakes.
We are more than our wrongdoing.
We are never as bad as the bad things we do
– or as good as the good things we do!
We all need forgiveness, and support when we mess up.
Jesus always sees that a person can change,
He is always the God of another chance.
In the gospels, Jesus had many disappointments in his group of apostles/disciples – but Judas was his biggest. Many others let him down but repented but no Judas.
Yet Jesus loved Judas despite what he foresaw in him.
Jesus kept him close, giving him every chance to change.
When Judas got angry at Jesus anointing in Bethany,
Jesus calmed him down and pointed out how some people had different values.
When Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss, Jesus still did not attack him.
Right up to the end, there was still hope for a change
but Judas judged himself lost and committed suicide.
By doing this he raises the whole painful question of suicide and forgiveness.
I believe Jesus forgave Judas.
As far as we know Judas could not forgive himself?
you are compassion and love;
May your compassion cover over our hardness of heart
May we always recognise people in need of forgiveness and help
and treat them with compassion as you did.
Let me always remember John Bradford’s saying
‘There go I but for the grace of God’.
1. God of mercy and compassion,
Look with pity upon me,
Father, let me call Thee Father,
‘Tis Thy child returns to Thee.
Jesus, Lord, I ask for mercy;
Let me not implore in vain;
All my sins, I now detest them,
Never will I sin again.
2. By my sins I have deserved
Death and endless misery,
Hell with all its pains and torments,
And for all eternity.