Daily Devotion

The Heart of the Matter

When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."
Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus saved His most scathing words not for the sinners of the day, but for the self-righteous, religious hypocrites. When the religious elite brought the woman caught in the act of adultery before Him and pointed out that the law required death by stoning (John 8:5), Jesus stooped down and began to write something on the ground. We don't know what He wrote. But whatever it was, they all left quickly, from the oldest to the youngest.
When Jesus asked the woman where her accusers were and if anyone had condemned her, she told Him, "No one, Lord." So Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more" (see verse 11).
Does this mean that Jesus approved of the way she lived? Far from it. He was getting to the heart of the matter. He knew the real problem was her sin that needed to be resolved, and this would in turn change her lifestyle.
I feel that we in the church are spending too much time protesting what unbelievers do and not enough time giving them the answer to their problems. I expect the world to be worldly. I expect sinners to behave sinfully. I don't expect them to live according to Christian standards.
There is a place to say what we are against. But the bottom line is that people are empty and need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let's expend our primary energy getting to the heart of the matter instead of dealing with the symptoms, because the heart of the matter is that people are lost. They need Christ. And we need to take that message to them.

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Philemon; Hebrews 1-4

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