He can set us free from our unruly desires and passions. Jesus never lost an opportunity to bring freedom to those oppressed by sin and guilt. His frequent association with sinners, however, upset the sensibilities of the religious leaders.
When a woman caught in adultery was brought to them for trial, they confronted Jesus on the issue of retribution.
Jewish law treated adultery as a serious crime since it violated God’s ordinance and wreaked havoc on the stability of marriage and family life. It was one of the three gravest sins punishable by death. This incident tells us a great deal about Jesus’ attitude to the sinner.
The scribes and Pharisees wanted to entrap Jesus with the religious and civil authorities. That is why they brought a woman caught in adultery before Jesus. Jesus turned the challenge towards his accusers.
In effect he said: Go ahead and stone her! But let the man who is without sin be the first to cast a stone. The Lord leaves the matter to their own consciences.
When the adulterous woman is left alone with Jesus, he both expresses mercy and he strongly exhorts her to not sin again.
The scribes wished to condemn, Jesus wished to forgive and to restore the sinner to health. His challenge involved a choice – either go back to your former way of sin and death or to reach out to the new way of life and happiness with him.
Jesus gave her pardon and a new start on life.
God’s grace enables us to confront our sin for what it is – unfaithfulness to God, and to turn back to God with a repentant heart and a thankful spirit for God’s mercy and forgiveness.
Do you know the joy of repentance and a clean conscience?