Jesus and the Adulteress
Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle.
They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery.
Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”
They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.
But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him.
Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin anymore.”
Uncle Chux Version
We have several questions without any good answers in this story. We are not told her name or who her husband was. Where is the man involved Huh? How in the world did these Pharisees know what was going on and why did they not bring the dude with them?
I say, this woman was set up!
The guy was most likely paid to seduce this woman and then let go when they came in and dragged her away.
Now here they are, putting her in the middle of a circle while they tell Jesus what Moses told them to do with her in the Bible and daring him to contradict Moses teachings.
Catch 22 time.
If Jesus says “Yes, Stone her to death”, he has proven his teachings that we should love our neighbor as ourselves to be false. That the forgiveness for our sins Jesus has been preaching about only counts for certain sins and not this one.
If Jesus says “No, don’t stone her”, he has just made everything Moses said about the Jewish people trying to be different and holier than the people surrounding them void. He has just taught that what the Jews had been following for generations as God’s word and directions for life was wrong.
So there Jesus was. Darned if he does go along with the Jewish leaders; and darned if he doesn’t.
But Jesus knew the thoughts of these men. He knew they wanted this woman condemned to death regardless where the man was or how he was involved (which was also against the teaching of the Jewish law).
Jesus started writing in the dirt with his finger.
Much speculation has been made about “What” Jesus was writing. Some say he wrote various names of the men in the crowd and their sins. Some say he wrote the 10 commandments. The truth is, no one knows. When pushed for an answer Jesus rose up and said “Let the person among you who has never sinned, cast the first stone”.
Take That you morally bankrupt teachers of the law. David said in Psalm 14:1-3, “None are righteous, no one does what is right”.
No one in that crowd could claim to have never sinned in their life. All were guilty of something.
The oldest realized their own guilt before the young did and they dropped their stones and left.
This is one of the reasons many scholars believe Jesus was writing various sins in the dirt, to help each man judge themselves guilty of sin.
Not even the Jewish leaders could throw a stone at her because they knew they were also guilty of something. Everyone dropped their stones and walked away.
When Jesus was alone with the woman he asked her where everyone who accused her had gone and if anyone had condemned her to death.
She replied no one had and Jesus smiled as he added “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and do not sin anymore.”
Jesus forgave her of her sin against God.
He knew she would sin again. Everyone except Jesus has and will sin against God. The difference is that she would never again commit “This” sin and would most likely tell others to avoid it as well. She would try to live her life doing what was right. She would have a greater capacity in her heart for forgiving others because of how much she herself had been forgiven of. Others may deserve to die according to the law but she would desire to see them find forgiveness and live. I understand her great capacity to forgive others because I also have been forgiven of much. I was a terrible person who lashed out in anger when I was in pain. Jesus forgave me everything and now I also desire to pass on the gift of forgiveness to others so that they also may be healed of their pain.