“And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 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? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 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. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 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 the woman standing in the midst. 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? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.” (John 8:3-11)
The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman taken in adultery to Jesus. How did they happen to find a woman in the act of adultery? Do you think that maybe it wasn’t an accident? Maybe they went to a local brothel—which means that they knew where it was—and grabbed a prostitute. They took her to Jesus and put on a pompous act, telling Him, “Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act…” If that had been the case and were honestly concerned about adultery, they should have brought the man who’d been with her. After all, it does take two to commit adultery.
The truth is that they weren’t looking for an occasion against her, but against Jesus. They kept asking Him what should be done, hoping that He’d contradict Moses. The Lord knew the game they were playing. He ignored them and wrote on the ground. Then He said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Then He continued to write on the ground. No one knows what He wrote, and the Bible doesn’t say. Maybe He wrote down the sins that they had committed. After all, He was God in the flesh, and the Lord “knoweth the secrets of the heart.” (Psalm 44:21). Jesus knew their “dirty little secrets,” too. Maybe He had started a list with the sins of the oldest Pharisees, then on down to the younger, which could be why the older ones left first. We don’t know for sure.
At any rate, they left one by one. Interestingly, they didn’t leave out of fear of public embarrassment or exposure, but they left because their consciences bothered them. God was dealing with their hearts. The Lord was convicting them of their wrongdoing, but He didn’t expose them to public ridicule in the process. The Lord really wanted to forgive their sins as much as He wanted to forgive the woman’s sins.
Eventually Jesus was alone with the woman. Yes, she was guilty and she knew it, but her accusers were gone. Now she was in the presence of God in the flesh. Jesus could have accused her, but that’s not why He came to earth. John 3:17 says, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” She recognized Him as Lord, trusted in Him as Saviour, and she was no longer under condemnation for her sin. It’s wonderful to have Jesus as Saviour. The Lord knows all about each one of us, even the sins that no one else knows about. When you receive Jesus as Saviour, your whole sin-debt of past, present, and future is forgiven: “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12).
Ironically, the scribes and Pharisees, who didn’t seem to care about the woman at all, ended up doing her a great favor by taking her to the One who would give her the forgiveness and salvation she needed. If you want to see in the Bible how to have eternal life by receiving Jesus as Saviour, please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?”
Brian Miller 6/22/2016
Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822