Thursday, April 3, 2014

John 8:1-11 The Woman Caught in Adultery

John 8:1-11

but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.  Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst  they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.  Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.  And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”  And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground.  But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.  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.”
The Pharisees are at it again.  Wanting to trap Jesus, they brought to him only the woman caught in adultery, and not the man.  This shows how the Pharisees viewed women in Jesus' day.  The trap was that no matter how Jesus answered their question, it would get him in trouble.  Either with Rome, or with the Pharisees.  Rome was the only one allowed to execute a person, and the Pharisees knew that the law required Jesus to answer that the woman should be stoned.  It was a failproof trap!  But look at Jesus' reply.

What reply, you ask.  And you rightly ask that question because Jesus did not give an answer. He allows the accusers to keep talking.  He makes no eye contact with anybody.  Look at this verse:

For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. James 2:10

Jesus knew the Pharisees were guilty of failing in all points of the law and were accountable for all of it.  In their continued attempts at forcing Jesus into a corner, they condemned themselves.  Can we learn from the wisdom Jesus exhibits here in answering accusers?  Jesus allows them to walk away.  The sad part about the departure of the Pharisees is that they did not stick around to hear Jesus forgive them as well.  But the woman.... well, there she is all exposed, physically and spiritually, in her shame.  And Jesus does not condemn her.  She does not deny her sin, but stands in the midst of all the men, hoping for mercy, fearing for her life.

Jesus gives her so much more.  He gives us the same. Rejoice in that!

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