But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them.The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “ He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “ I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” John 8:1-11 (NASB)
Quick Recap: a woman, caught in the very act of cheating on her husband is brought to Jesus by the religious leaders in order to trick him. They ask him what they should do, thinking he will give one of two answers: either, stone her, and lose the respect of the people, or let her go, and break the law. They thought it was fool proof.
Now, this woman…she was caught in the very act. In my mind, that means they pulled her right out of bed and into the center of this crowd. She must be naked, if she’s lucky, she thought to drag the sheet off the bed along with her to cover up. But, where is the man she was with? The law says that both parties caught in adultery should be stoned, but for some reason, only the woman made it in front of Jesus.
I imagine her standing in a circle of people, embarrassed and scared. The religious leaders and Jesus in front of her, the people in the crowd already with stones in their hands. They’re ready to throw. However, Jesus is taking His time to answer their questions. And when He finally does? The people slowly drop their stones and leave one by one. She must have breathed a sigh of relief, realizing she wasn’t dying that day.
What stand out to me the most? Jesus’ answer to the religious leaders. “If you’ve never sinned, go ahead, be the first to throw your stone.” Well, of course, after that, none of them could throw anything. But Jesus could. Jesus was the only one in that crowd who would have been able to stone that woman. Yet, He was the only one who offered her forgiveness. “I do not condemn you.” And neither does He condemn me. The only one who has the power to find fault with me is the one who ultimately absolves me of fault.
Instead of sinful people judging me, another sinful person to guilt, I only have to answer to the One who has never sinned, and because of His love and grace, He will always announce me innocent.