Read John 8:10-11
10 Jesus was left alone, with the woman still standing where they had put her. So he stood up and said to her, “Where are they all—did no one condemn you?”
11 And she said, “No one, sir.” “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus to her. “Go home and do not sin again.” (JBP)
A group of arrogant religious men had used a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery to entrap Jesus. Would he be too harsh or would he be too strict? Jesus, of course, saw right through them. He was concerned first for the woman, not for their sneaky religious power games.
His response to her frees him from accusations of laxity or severity. He is neither going to condemn her or shrug his shoulders regarding her sin. He invites her to begin again, to break what may have been a cycle of promiscuity. But he is aware that she (or any of us for that matter) can only do that in a climate of grace and acceptance.
To merely condemn is to give no hope of recovery. To merely show indifference is to give no encouragement to change. And this is why any of us can have a new beginning. The only one who has the authority to pardon us has offered pardon. The only one who has the power to set us free from destructive behaviours has offered power.
None of us needs to be trapped in a quicksand of lost opportunities and dashed dreams. None of us is a hopeless case. There can be a fresh start because the one who could justly point an accusing finger at us has instead reached out his rescuing arms to us.