The religious scholars are at again. They are non stop in their efforts to trap Jesus. Imagine the futility of that mission. It doesn’t stop them though. This time they think they will get Jesus.
Now this was a tough issue to deal with. A woman caught in the act of adultery. The legalistic wing of the scholars have a strong case. The law says to stone her. There is no denying that.
Jesus doesn’t fall for it. Jesus stops the nonsense by writing in the dirt. We all wish we knew what he wrote. One day I will get to ask Jesus. I’ve read lots of good ideas. Whatever Jesus wrote, it had its effect.
Jesus then challenges them directly by asking for anyone who has not missed God’s goal (aka sin) to throw the first stone. Now that stopped all it for sure. Of course, we have all sinned. This is not helpful to the religious scholars and it headed into a direction they didn’t want it to go.
Jesus challenges me to remember I need his love and mercy. I am not innocent. I fall short of God’s goal consistently. Jesus has redeemed me. All he asks of me is to stop falling short, to hit the mark of God’s goal for me. Jesus gives me the power to do it.
Jesus does not condemn me. Jesus doesn’t condemn you. Jesus came to renew us and set us free. I am the one who needs to change my mind (aka repent) about who Jesus is and who I am. Jesus redeemed me from the curse of sin and restored me as a child of God. I am a full heir to all the riches of God’s country.
Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them.
The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, “Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.
Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.
Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. “Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?”
“No one, Master.”
“Neither do I,” said Jesus. “Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.”
Source: John 8:1-11 (The Message Bible)