"'Then neither do I condemn you,' Jesus declared." (John 8:11).
Jesus could have so easily declared the death sentence! But He who is so
tender and loving gave this woman another chance. How much comfort and hope
there is for us in this great passage. "If God is for us, who is against us?
...Who will bring a charge against God's elect?" (Romans 8:31,33). Mary became
one of God's elect because Jesus showed mercy rather than condemnation. Should
we not follow His example and show forbearance to others? We are sinners, too,
so why should we point out the tiny speck when we carry a beam of sin ourselves?
"Love covers all transgressions" (Proverbs 10:112b) so let us rather love one
another than condemn, whether the facts are true or not.
Notice Christ's way of dealing with Peter when he cursed and lied the night
that he should have supported his Friend. "The Lord turned and looked straight
at Peter" (Luke 22:61). He didn't scold him; Jesus, by a tender look, brought to
Peter's mind what a terrible deed he had done to His Lord. Even at the time of
His own terrible suffering of mind and body, Jesus shows that He has not
forgotten the pain Peter is enduring, too. And after the resurrection He utters
not a single word of condemnation to His friend Peter.
"To him who overcomes ... I will give him a white stone, and a new name
written on the stone ..." (Revelation 2:17b). The ancient custom was to give a
white stone to the acquitted and a black stone to the condemned. The white stone
is the stone of salvation, and the new name is not a fresh name of itself, but a
fresh revelation of God and His nature. Surely both Mary and Peter were given
fresh revelations of God's nature through His forgiveness of their sins. These
are beautiful accounts of the exquisite love and understanding of a lovely