In our last post, we looked at the story of the woman caught in adultery. Jesus showed grace and love to this woman, outsmarting the self-righteous crowd that came to condemn her. At the end of the story in John 8, we find that she calls Him “Lord.”
It’s easy to breeze past this—after all, the woman sees that her accusers have all left. Jesus asks her who is left to throw stones, and she says, “No one, Lord.” This is significant. When we call Jesus Lord, that means we’re calling Him owner—Master. Not only is a Master responsible for directing those under Him…but He is responsible for them as a whole. When we call Him Lord, all of our debts, our problems, our struggles, immediately became His responsibility.
This woman knew that she needed help. She couldn’t leave her life of sin by herself. The way she had been trying and failing for years wasn’t working. When she called Jesus Lord, all her penalties, all her arrears, immediately became His to bear. Once He became her owner, He was responsible for His property.”
Then, Jesus tells her, “Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.” Now, Jesus would not ask someone to do what they can’t do. So when He says, “Leave your life of sin,” He releases a grace, or an anointing. In those words was released a power that freed her from having to find her self-esteem in some man, some job, some possession, or anything else. In those words was liberation. Jesus didn’t just forgive her; He empowered her to live above it.
True freedom in Christ isn’t white-knuckling it, hoping to be good enough. In fact, that’s the complete antithesis of the gospel. True freedom was made possible when Jesus took our sin upon Himself, died on the cross, and rose again, conquering sin and death. Through His authority, we have the freedom to no longer want to sin! We have the freedom to surrender our struggles and our debts to Him, trusting that He will not only forgive us, but empower us to live like Him!
Dr. Derek Grier