And as they continued to ask Him (Jesus), He stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." And once more He bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before Him. 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 8:7-11
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 Sunday 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
Jesus was in the temple in Jerusalem teaching when suddenly the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman who had been caught in adultery.
With vigor they denounced her crime and enquired as to what the Savior thought they should do with the woman. The Scripture is clear about their motivation. These men were not looking for any interpretation of the law or even for justice. On the contrary, they were trying to trick Jesus and find some way of ruining His reputation and influence among the people.
The scribes and Pharisees thought they had Him.
1. If Jesus said, "Let her go," they could accuse Him of disobeying the law.
2. If Jesus said, "Stone her," He wouldn't be the loving teacher people thought.
Instead of providing a direct and immediate answer, Jesus bent down, and with His finger, started to write in the dirt. After a while He straightened up and said, "Let anyone among you who is without sin be first to throw a stone at her."
The accusers confronted by their consciences, went away convicted and without the evidence against Jesus they had hoped to get.
Jesus was left with the woman standing before him.
Legally her life was forfeit, but our Lord Jesus gave her a different verdict than she expected. Although He could not approve the wrong she had done, He saw her repentant heart and refused to condemn her. Instead, He gave her instructions on how to mend her life.
Brothers and sisters, what attitude do you adopt when you see someone succumb to sin? Are you quick to judge and condemn? Or do you entrust sin and sinner to the Savior? It is He alone who can read hearts. Of course, one thing is certain: because of Jesus' sacrifice, the Holy Spirit can call transgressors to repentance and offer them forgiveness and peace.
This is why those who have been saved are able to hear Jesus say to them, as He once did to the adulterous woman: "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more."
THE PRAYER: Lord God, we ask Your forgiveness for those times we have chosen not to forgive as we have been forgiven. We acknowledge having acted against Your will in word and deed. Thank You for sending Your beloved Son, Jesus, as our Redeemer and Rescuer. In Jesus' Holy Name we pray. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Ania Souman. He is a lay Christian from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon (EELC). At the Lutheran Hour Ministries office he serves as our audience relations manager. He is married and has two children.
There is freedom of religion in Cameroon, but radio broadcasts and television airings are limited. Therefore, the most effective method of ministry in this country is a personalized, one-on-one approach, which brings staff and volunteers to the front doors of those to whom they are reaching out. Though this method is hampered by an infrastructure with often impassable roads, it is effective, especially in the northern portion of the country where the influence of Islam has been spreading.
In this country of more than 22 million people on the Gulf of Guinea in central West Africa, Lutheran Hour Ministries-Cameroon employs a wide variety of resources to reach the local population with the message of Jesus Christ. Included among these efforts are radio programming, printed materials, film shows, outdoor rallies, the Internet, text messaging, and hospital and prison visits. This ministry center also uses Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) and Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops to strengthen the faith of Christians. To reach young women at risk, LHM-Cameroon utilizes an holistic outreach program, where vocational training and the hope they have in Christ are studied and shared. Other initiatives are aimed at youth, giving them guidance from a Christian perspective and helping them to make choices to live effectively in the secular world.
You can check out a recent ETS workshop that was held in Dangote, in the eastern part of the country, by clicking here.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhm.org/international.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries