“The Woman Released”
“Catch and release” Sometimes people do that when fishing. In public lakes it allows more people to fish, and less fish to get eaten. It allows fish to grow up and make more fish. It gives them a chance at fishy life. The woman caught by the religious leaders in the act of adultery was about to be released by Jesus in a very redemptive way. (John 8:1-11) “Woman where are your accusers?” “They’re gone” was her astonished reply. “Then neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.”
I’d like to think she took Jesus’ admonition to heart. Not that she never ever sinned again, but that this experience so changed her that she lived a life that was worthy of the risk, heat, and hatred Jesus took for her. It’s also worth noting what Jesus didn’t say. He didn’t say, “aw…it was just sex.” or “That’s not a sin anymore…” or “It was alright.” It wasn’t, it still is, and it wasn’t.
What Jesus did say was, “neither do I condemn you.” That’s a far cry from “it didn’t matter.” It mattered. And her life mattered more to Jesus than the religious leaders desire to catch Jesus with a moral dilemma trap.
So Jesus set her free, with a mission for her life to stay free and “sin no more.” Her ultimate freedom would hinge on real change. This is Jesus’ commission to us too… Jesus’ word to you is, “Go…here’s your chance… get on with life, but sin no more…be truly different.” In Christ, we get a restart. I like to believe this unnamed woman did change, not just to avoid future trouble but because she was so deeply grateful.
PRAYER: Lord, we’ve been set free by your going to the cross to free us from our bondage to sin. Help us grasp with firmer hands the freedom to “not sin.” Draw us to the holiness of our calling. Amen