Jesus stood up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more." John 8:10-11
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Dear brethren in Christ Jesus: as we look at the Gospel of John, we see him painting a picture of a forgiving Savior who specializes in rebuilding the sinners' life and offers them another chance to start over. That truth is obvious that in this text where we meet the Savior who loves sinners and reaches out to them through His grace, love and forgiveness.
That is the forgiving Savior who I would like to share with you today.
According to the narrative, a woman was caught in the act of adultery. There is no question she was guilty before the Lord and guilty before the world. Now it should be understood: adultery is a grievous sin, but when it comes to condemnation, all sins are serious (see James 2:10).
Indeed, because of original sin, that is, the sin we inherited from our parents, even if we never committed a transgression with our bodies or our minds, we would still stand guilty and condemned before the Lord (Romans 3:10, 23).
Knowing God condemns all sins, we might think an adulterer could never be forgiven. We could not be further from the truth in imagining such a thing!
That is because the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse us from all sin (see 1 John 1:7).
In my living and studying I can recall how I used to be influenced by the thinking of this world. I learned and got used to being self-righteous rather than self-sacrificing, and egocentric rather than self-giving, for the sake of others. Moreover, I learned to take revenge rather than to forgive.
In many ways I was like the religious leaders who claimed to be more righteous than others. That was the way it seemed to be in my mind, but in reality, I did not deserve to be saved. Jesus says, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her" (see John 8:7). Well, there was a time when I was ready to throw that stone.
Thankfully, Jesus is a forgiving Lord, and He has made it possible for the adulterous lady -- and for the ones who were judging her -- to be forgiven and offered a fresh start.
Because of our sinful natures, we like to accuse others without considering our own guilt. Our judgments of others and not ourselves make us into hypocrites. Thankfully, even the sin of hypocrisy can be forgiven by our loving Savior who offered Himself as the sacrifice that saves all who are brought to repentance and faith by the Holy Spirit.
No matter how grievous that woman's sin was, no matter how serious your transgressions might be, no matter how strongly you feel your life has been ruined or wrecked by sin, the Bible tells us God's grace, love and forgiveness are always greater, and are available.
Rest assured. Do you think you are beyond the reach of God's forgiveness? Based on Scripture I can tell you there is no such place. If Jesus could forgive that woman and those who crucified Him, He can do the same for us.
His life, death and resurrection guarantee that this is so.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for forgiving my sins and for giving me grace to start a new and forgiven life with You. In Your Name I pray. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Mr. Roth (John) Kim Nang who serves as a translator of Lutheran Heritage Foundation (LHF) and project coordinator of Garuna Kids/School for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cambodia (ELCC). In this Southeast Asian country of 15 million people, Lutheran Hour Ministries-Cambodia, known locally as Cambodia Christian Media Center, was established in 2000 in Phnom Penh City. Using both Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) and Equipping the Saints (ETS), this ministry center is active in evangelism training and sharing the Good News of God's eternal love in Jesus with this country's citizens. Through music events, films, and the Internet, young people learn about their Savior and the importance of healthy lifestyle choices. This education frequently takes place in partnership with other Christian churches in Cambodia. The center also offers clothing and other items to school-age children. You can learn more about what LHM is doing in Cambodia by going to its blog at lhmcambodia.wordpress.com.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries