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Oxygen Masks

Perhaps He was telling them how their own oxygen masks—their own veils of spirituality—were askew and their discernment deprived. As a result, their ability to judge rightly and righteously had been perverted. The adulteresses’ case was thrown out of court—not on grace alone—but on a mistrial. Not because Jesus blanketly forgave her sin. He never says he forgave her sin. “‘Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?’ And she said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go your way. From now on sin no more'” (John 8:10-11).

A travesty of justice had been averted. A sinner—actually many sinners—were given another chance.

He could not condemn her. God’s Torah had not been upheld. Jurisprudence had not been applied and the author of the Word could not violate the Word. He merely admonished her to go and “sin no more.”

Yeshua had successfully helped the crowd and the woman on with their spiritual oxygen masks. A travesty of justice had been averted. A sinner—actually many sinners—were given another chance. Biblical justice and the Torah were upheld with one clear and undisputed result—life!

Perhaps this is at the heart of another admonishment of our Messiah: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24, conveniently said right before the example we have been using).

We are called to judge sin, but we are called to do so with our spiritual, life-giving oxygen masks on, practicing righteous discernment. Only then can we truly help someone else on with their mask and avoid spiritual deprivation and a perversion of biblical justice.

If you have a contention with someone in the household of faith, is your own oxygen mask adjusted properly?


This article originally appeared on the Pneuma Foundation website in November 2004. The Pneuma Foundation is the parent organization of

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Category: Living the Faith, Winter 2017

About the Author: Kevin M. Williams, Litt.D., H.L.D. has served in Messianic ministries since 1987 and has written numerous articles and been a featured speaker at regional and international conferences on Messianic Judaism.

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