Why Christ did not condemn nor acquit the adulteress
The only mission Christ had received was that of saving us, anything other would be a sin. Satan knew that God had given only one mission to His only son. He knew that Jesus could not stray away from it and that if he had altered that mission, or if he had taken upon his shoulders any other mission, he would have failed, he would have sinned. If he had sinned he could not save us.
That is why several times Satan tried to trip the Lord, to make him get involved in judgments, politics, etc., like the time he tried to make him a judge, an executioner, or to proclaim himself king, and even punish those who deserved punishment.
Because his was only a salvation mission, Jesus rejected certain solutions. Do you believe that it was through his own strength and virtues that Elijah made fire fall from heaven and burn two companies of soldiers? Do you believe that was Elijah's mistake? (2 Kings 1:10-12).
It is evident that the one that gave Elijah the power to do that miracle was God; and it is evident that God also agreed with what Elijah was doing, otherwise he would not have backed him up.
Do you believe that Jesus disagreed with God on what Elijah had done? Of course not! Christ approved of the same things God approved. Therefore, what Elijah had done was not a sin.
Subsequently neither was a sin in itself for the disciples to want to do what Elijah had done before: let fire come down from Heaven to punish the rebels. That is what James and John tried to do. What was sinful was to make it part of Christ's mission. That is why the Lord didn't let them do it.
And sent messengers before his
face; and they
went, and entered into a village
of the Samaritans, to make ready
And they did not receive
him, because his face was as though
he would go to
The only difference in this case was that Christ's mission was much different than Elijah's mission. It was much more specific and it required different methods. Jesus' mission was not to punish, destroy, judge, etc., but to save; and no one would distract him during the 33 years he would live here.
That is why he would not offer his vote (or deny it) for the adulterous woman to be punished; that is why he would not judge on the case of the brother who would not share his inheritance; that is why he would not punish the Samaritan city. None of that was his mission at the moment of his First Coming, he had not come for any of it. He would not let others drag him into it; being whether those others were acting in bad faith, as in the case of the Pharisees who were agents of Satan, or in good faith, like the disciples.
It's not that Christ disapproved what Elijah had done, since that had been done under God's authority and power. Neither was Christ against punishing adultery, since it had been established by his father God, and he was not going against Him or pretending to be kinder than God. It is simply that the mission that God gave him for that time was another one, as seen in John 3:17, and he would not want to sin by straying away from the mission he was given and taking on another one.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (Jn 3:17)
We should not conclude from cases like these, that God was thinking one thing while Jesus, more humane and generous was going against him, or fixing up His messes. After all, our Lord Jesus Christ agrees with sending the rebels to hell, just like God. Therefore, when the Lord Jesus Christ opposed James and John when they wanted to bring fire from heaven to punish those rebellious Samaritans, he did it because that was not his mission then, and doing it would be a sin; but not because he thought they did not deserve it.
Neither should we understand that God thought one thing in Moses' time and then changed his mind two millenniums later, to fix things, to the point of sending his anointed to contradict what He had previously approved.
Jesus Christ, and therefore God, is the same yesterday, today, and forever, as Hebrews 13:8 declares. God is not going to think one way during Moses' time and another way during Paul's time.
Because it was not his mission, Jesus did not offer judgment. It is evident that in John 3:17 is the explanation of why Christ would not let himself be dragged where the Pharisees and others wanted to take him. These, incited by Satan, and not knowing why they were doing it, wanted to tempt Jesus to judge or condemn someone, to invalidate his mission of salvation.
God did not give Jesus the mission of judging or condemning on his first coming. He did not come to condemn but to save. If he had condemned someone he would have walked away from God's mission, which would have been sin. That is why the Pharisees and his other enemies kept tempting him to judge and condemn people. They did not realize the spiritual warfare that was taking place, and in which they were unconsciously participating, but since, after all, they were not serving God, the Devil used them to make Christ judge or condemn someone, and thus ruin his saving mission by making him to sin.
That is why Christ did not condemn the adulterous woman in John 8:3-11. It is not that he was repealing God's laws, but he didn't want to make himself judge to apply them, because, as saw in John 3:17; that was not his mission. For judging crimes God had already established kings, governors and judges. Jesus was not going to usurp their functions. That is why he neither condemned nor acquitted the adulterous woman, but instead, after seeing that no one else condemned her, he simply said, Go and sin no more.
That is why he would not go into litigation for the inheritance that one of his listeners had in Luke 12:13-14. This listener had been cheated by his brother. It isn't that Jesus thought there shouldn't be a law against swindling. He didn't abolish the laws against swindling by not condemning the listener's brother. It isn't that Jesus had abolished all these laws. It's that his mission was one of salvation, not of condemnation or legislation; he came as a savior, not as a judge or a legislator.
13 And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. 14 And he said unto him: Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? (Lk 12:13-14)
By not taking sides in this problem between brothers Jesus was not abolishing the laws of inheritance, or the punishment of cheaters, or the right of every heir to claim his part. He wasn't approving of adultery, or abolishing God's laws about adultery just because he did not condemn the adulterous woman. He knew that the hand of Satan was behind all this, trying to distract him from the only mission that God had given him, and thus ruin his redemptive work and condemn himself.
If Christ would have dedicated himself to solve arguments, not only would he have failed in his mission, but he would have had received so many litigants, that would have made his mission practically impossible.