Evangelism – Part Three

JESUS DOES NOT PASS JUDGMENT

Throughout the New Testament, Jesus shows compassion for those who have sinned. He forgives them with no condemnation. Romans 3:23 says we have all sinned and have fallen short of God’s glory. First John 1:8 states that “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” God forgives us when we acknowledge our sins and repent. First John 1:9 says to “confess our sins, [because] He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

God does not give us what we deserve but gives us the gift of grace and mercy. Psalm 103, verses 10 through 12, tells us that God does not “repay us according to our iniquities” but He declares, “for as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is [My] love for those who fear [Me]. He goes on to say “as far as the east is from the west, so far [have I] removed [your] transgressions from [you].” In verses 13-14, it says that we are God’s children and God “has compassion on those who fear Him.”

Biblical Examples

Below are stories of two women in the Bible who sinned and were judged harshly by their actions. Jesus showed compassion towards these women and forgave them of their sins. We are not much different than they are. We sin every day, and we must repent daily.

Jesus Forgives a Sinful Woman

In the Book of Luke, chapter 7, verses 36 through 50, it tells a story of a sinful woman that Jesus anointed and blessed. A Pharisee invited Jesus into his home for dinner, and, while Jesus was eating, a woman entered the home uninvited. She approached Jesus and began to weep. “She stood behind him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them” (verse 38).

Now visualize what this moment would look like. Here is a woman who barged into a Pharisee’s home to see Jesus. She wept in His presence and began to clean His feet with her tears. She lets down her hair and begins to dry Jesus’ feet with her hair. Then she kissed His feet and poured expensive perfume on them.

She honored Jesus by serving Him. Washing someone’s feet was a Christian ritual for hospitality which means serving. During this time, a woman would lose her reputation for letting down her hair in public. It was a sign of disrespect. This woman was willing to lose her reputation to love on Jesus and, might I add, in a Pharisee’s home. The Pharisee’s created the law and for her to let down her hair in the midst of the Pharisee was putting her reputation at risk.

Unfortunately, this woman judged harshly by the Pharisee. She was judged by her actions and her sinful lifestyle. As we continue reading in the Book of Luke, chapter 7, we see the Pharisee was angry that she came into his home. He said, “’if this man [Jesus] were a prophet, He would know who is touching Him and what kind of woman she is – that she is a sinner’” (verse 39). Jesus rebuked the Pharisee and told the woman, “’Your sins are forgiven […] Your faith has saved you; go in peace (verses 48 and 50).

This story is powerful and life-changing. The sinful woman was desperate to have an intimate encounter with Jesus, and she was willing to walk into a Pharisee’s home uninvited to have a moment with Him. Without saying a word, she approached Him and washed His feet. Jesus saw past her sin and forgave her.

When we share God’s love with others, we need to be just like Jesus in this story. We need to see past the sin and show compassion towards them. We need to love people like Jesus loves them.

Jesus Forgives an Adulterous Woman

In the Book of John, chapter 8, verses 1 through 11, the Pharisees brought a sinful woman to the temple courts to be stoned to death. Jesus was present and the Pharisees challenged Jesus by saying, “’Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’” (verses 4-5). “Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with His finger” and the Pharisees continued to question Him (verse 6). He finally spoke by saying, “’let anyone of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her’” (verse 7). Jesus stooped down again and continued to write on the ground. The crowd gradually left casting no stone at the woman. All who was left was Jesus standing before her. Jesus “asked her, ‘where are they? Has no one condemned you?’” and she replied, “’no one, sir’” (verses 9-11). Jesus responds by telling her, “’then neither do I condemn you’…’go now and leave your life of sin’” (verse 11).

Jesus had every opportunity to pass judgment on this woman but instead He showed her compassion and love. He spared her life from the ruthless crowd. We do not know what Jesus wrote on the ground, but it must have been powerful because everyone left without saying a word. This story takes my breath away when I see Jesus forgiving this woman of her sins and loving her for who she is instead of casting judgment. We need to be more like Jesus! We need to love more and judge less. We need to show others they have worth and accept them for who they are, no matter their life choices.

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