Last week we saw the scorn of the Pharisees, today we’re looking at a passage not included in all the old manuscripts, John 7:53-8:11.
53 [[They went each to his own house, 8 1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 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. 7 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.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 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. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”]]
Jesus went to the Mount of Olives and then back down to the temple. Based on what I see in the picture below, that involves a fair amount of walking.
Jesus, doesn’t let the problems with the Pharisees stop him in his work. He continues his ministry, teaching the people in the temple. Showing them more of God’s way in the things that he does.
For instance, a woman has been caught in the act of adultery. The Pharisees (and the scribes) bring her before Jesus. They put her right in the middle where he’s teaching, and then say “This woman has been caught in the act of adultery.” I’ve often found it interesting they didn’t bring the fellow along, but perhaps he wasn’t married, ergo adultery wouldn’t be an issue. I don’t know. We aren’t told about the fellow, we just told about the woman.
Anyways, she’s there, facing the accusations of the Pharisees. The law of Moses states that such women are to be stoned. What would Jesus say about that? You see, this was a test. They wanted to find some way to legally bring charges against Jesus, and what better way then to get him to say something counter to the law!!!
I love Jesus’ response eh? I can just see him standing there being badgered by the Pharisees. What would you say to this Jesus, what would you do Jesus? HUH? Come on tell us. Jesus’ response was simple. He wrote in the dirt, and stood up and said “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” He closed this statement off by paying them no nevermind. He bent down and started to write in the dirt again.
The response of the Pharisees and scribes? They left. One by one, started with the oldest, they simply left. The woman remained, the men left.
Can you see the scene? All that commotion and noise, all the questions being silenced, just by saying “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Jesus doesn’t leave the woman condemned in her sin. You noticed that too right? He asked her where her accusers where. If anyone stayed to condemn her. When he heard that no one did, he didn’t condemn her either, sending her away with the admonition to sin no more.
What would you have done?
I see myself in here you know? So often I start to condemn others, and then I found myself caught, seeing my own sin, and thinking, don’t do that. Would you want someone pointing out your sins? The obvious and the perhaps not so obvious? Does shaming a person change their heart? Would throwing stones be a help or a hindrance to her? Does shaming a person change their heart? Would throwing stones be a help or a hindrance to her? Click To Tweet
Jesus knew a better way eh? He didn’t condemn. Just told her don’t sin anymore. She knew her sin. He didn’t need to heap burning coals on her head. He quietly let those who would condemn leave, and let her leave too.
Something to learn from this eh?