The Woman taken in Adultery
Jesus is sitting in the Temple, teaching to all the people, when some scribes and Pharisees bring a woman in, and put her in the midst of His teaching session.
John 8:4-5 “They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?”
Here is a historical fact: Adultery in Israel was to be punished by stoning.
Here is the lesson: God’s forgiveness overrules sin’s punishment.
Here are several men, older and younger who find a woman who is “taken in adultery”; or committing it at the time the men walked in.
There were no thoughts that this was a mistake….”No, I did not do what they are accusing me of. I’m innocent.” No, she did it.
What these men were doing there, is not said; except that they did it to trick Jesus, so they could accuse Him.
But, Jesus, knowing the reason in their hearts for this question, simply ignores them….or so it would seem.
He begins to write in the sand with His finger.
What He wrote, is not known.
They gathered around Him as vultures, wanting His destruction…..more than the woman, they were supposed to be questioning about.
(I, personally, think Jesus was writing dates; maybe when they had been with this woman…they all knew where to find her. Or other names of the women they had used.)
Whatever He wrote (and it does say “wrote”), when He had wrote enough, He stood up, looked at them, and said:
John 8:7 “So when they continued asking him, He lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
The Law was God’s Word. It was right.
Yet it was the judges that were wrong.
They did not want to condemn this woman alone….they wanted grounds to condemn Jesus.
So again, Jesus stoops down and writes on the ground.
He had answered their question…..with a question to their conscience.
John 8:9 “And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and woman standing in the midst.”
Here is power, not on their hearts, but on the conscience.
Our conscience is the part of us that believes there is a judgement somewhere, somehow; whether by God, or not.
That all our actions, have a reaction back at us.
Their conscience convicted; they simply left. Retreat was the best defense.
But the woman stayed.
This is an amazing thing, I believe.
She could have tried to leave when they were leaving, or afterwards; but she stayed to hear Jesus’s judgement.
And because she did….Halleluia….we have the lesson of forgiveness.
John 8:10-11 “When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?
Than she said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.”
She called Him, “Lord”; that is why she stayed, because she bowed to His Lordship. She was guilty, she deserved to be condemned, but she was the only one to stay and here what He judged.
And because she left herself in His hands, she left with a new life…”go and sin no more.”
This woman came in, a sinner, and left forgiven. The scribes and Pharisees came in self-righteousness, and left convicted.
The difference is in yielding to the Light of Jesus Christ.
She did. They refused.
John 8:12 “Then spake Jesus again to them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
And remember He says: the light of life. It isn’t light for an instant….but for a lifetime.
He is light. He is life. Let us stay and yield to Him; and rejoice that our sins can be forgiven.