It’s one thing to be able to diagnose a problem, and it’s another thing to know how to fix it. Growing up working with old trucks, farm equipment, wood splitters, chainsaws, and a bunch of other mechanical things that constantly broke, I became pretty good at diagnosing the problems that might arise while we were working. The problem was I didn’t always know how to fix the problem. Especially as a youngster I relied on my dad and my papaw to come to my rescue and bring resolution to the issue. I needed them to point me to the solution. Being aware of my problem only showed me that I didn’t possess the ability to fix the problem on my own; I needed something outside of myself to resolve my issue.
In today’s passage we see evidence that the religious leaders in Jesus’ day had no problem diagnosing the problems in people’s lives according to the law. They were masters in the law and unfortunately they didn’t always use that knowledge to point people to God. As is the case in our passage today, the Pharisee’s cared little for the woman caught in adultery. Their motivation was to use the law to trap Jesus in some type of infraction that they could use against Him when the time was right.
The example we see from Jesus in this passage is quite different from that of the religious leaders. While Jesus knew the law entirely, kept the law perfectly, and clearly used the law to show people their sin (diagnosing their problem), He also provided them with the solution, Himself. Look again at Jesus’ response to the woman caught in adultery:
 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
Jesus responds with grace and truth. He doesn’t condone her sin, He forgives it. He also doesn’t dismiss her sin, He tells her to go and sin no more. His call is for her to repent and turn from her sinful lifestyle and devote her life to living for God. Jesus clearly diagnoses the sin in her life, points her to Himself because He knows that is exactly the solution she desperately needs. She, nor the law, is sufficient for her sin problem, only Jesus can resolve it.
The same truth applies to us today. We are all in a state of great brokenness because of sin, whether we are aware of it or not. Not only do we need to be made aware of our sin (diagnosed with our disease), we must be made aware that our cure doesn’t come from within and it doesn’t come from keeping a list of laws and rules. The only cure for our terminal disease is the precious blood of Christ, applied directly to our cancerous sin, bringing completely healing, restoration, and freedom for that disease.
- Verse 36 of this passage is so powerful:
 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
When Christ sets us free from sin it is finished! The cancer is not returning, the problem is solved, and we are truly free to live. To live a life that doesn’t turn back to the sin that once enslaved us, but to go and sin no more in the power of the gospel.
By: Matt Mofield