After spending the night on the Mount of Olives, Jesus returned to the temple courts where He had been the day before. People gathered around Him, and He sat down to teach them when the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. Their intent was to trap Jesus so they could accuse Him. “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. Moses’ law said we should stone her. What do you say?”
Jesus bent down to write on the ground with His finger. The men continued to question Him. He stood and said, “He who is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then Jesus stooped to write in the dirt again. The accusers began to go away, the older ones first, until only the woman was left with Jesus. He stood and asked, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I,” said Jesus. “Go and leave your life of sin” (John 8:1-11 my paraphrase).
THINK ABOUT IT
Moses’ law commanded that both parties to adultery should be stoned. The Pharisees disregarded the law by arresting the woman without the man. If Jesus said the woman should not be stoned, they would accuse him of violating the law. If He urged them to stone her, they would report Him to the Romans because they could not carry out Jewish executions. Jesus caused each man to reflect on his own life. When no one could be found without sin, Jesus forgave the woman and commanded her to end her lifestyle of sin.
PRAY ABOUT IT
Thank you, Lord, for this example of your great mercy and forgiveness. Thank you, too, for forgiving us, and help us to live in light of the new and eternal life you gave us. In Jesus’ name, Amen