Ok, I admit this story bugs me. John 8:1-11 relays how the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus who had been caught in adultery. They made her stand in the middle of the temple court as they exposed her sin, but their secret motive was to trick Jesus in some way. It’s so wrong on many levels. First, where was the man? Why didn’t they bring him, too? No one can commit adultery alone. So, not only did these so called “holy” men seem to be protecting the offending member of their own sex, they were using the holy law of Moses to further their own agenda of destroying Jesus. “Teacher,” they said, “This woman has been caught in the very act of adultery. Now the Law of Moses commands that such shall be stoned to death. But what do you say?”
They didn’t fool Jesus one bit. Instead of engaging them in useless dialogue, He bends down and begins writing “on the ground with His finger” and after awhile says, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And what do you know? One by one they left. The Amplified says they were “conscience-stricken.” And they left in a strange order: from the oldest to the youngest. I suppose because those who were older had more experience with sin. Finally, the court was empty and the plot to trick Jesus, foiled.
But how did Jesus handled the woman? Adultery is a serious offense in the sight of God. Did He stone her? He was the only one without sin in that entire place, the only one who had the right to do it. But no. Instead He said, “Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you?” and “she answered, No one, Lord. And Jesus said, I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more.”
Oh what a wonderful Savior we have! How kind and tender He is to us. We are all sinners. And while the world, that is full of its own sins, seeks to throw stones—to humiliate, to accuse—Jesus’ heart desires to restore us, to love us, to bring us into His fullness. And at no one does the hypocritical world love to throw stones more than believers. “How can you call yourself a Christian after you did (fill in the blank)? Yes, we must deal with our sins, confess them and endeavor to “sin no more.” And then God is faithful and just to forgive us (1John 1:9). What’s more, He’ll never throw our sins back in our face, or rehash them over and over again. Rather, our sins, after they are confessed and forgiven, will never be remembered again.
I like to think that that woman went on to live a full life in the Lord, transformed by His love, perhaps the only real love she had ever experienced. And the wonderful thing is so can we all.
Until next time,