“The Woman Caught”
Jesus faced a dilemma when the religious leaders brought the “woman caught in the act of adultery” to him. (John 8:1-11) They quoted the law of Moses saying she should be stoned for this breach of holy law. And then, to try to trap Jesus, they asked, “What do you say?… Huh?” Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. After more badgering for an answer, Jesus stood up and said, “Alright, but let the one without sin throw the first stone.” Then he went back to writing in the dust. And the crowd dispersed beginning with the oldest. (maybe the wisest)
It’s not that adultery is the most sinful sin ever. But it is sin. And it’s a sin that carries a lot of enslavement with it. This woman before Jesus was not free, and at that moment she was certainly in danger. You lose a lot of freedom in sexual sin. Paul seems to say it has greater spiritual consequences than most other sins. (I Cor. 6:18-20)
Jesus’ stated goal on earth was to “seek and save the lost.” So he refused to say, “Ok, go ahead and stone her,” or, “The law has changed.” Neither of those “answers” was a good solution, neither was true.
Jesus turned the question of who is “judge & executioner” back on the crowd. Check your own heart and if you’ve never sinned, go ahead. See, for Jesus, the commandment hadn’t changed. Adultery was sin. But the sin of the crowd mattered too. But only God, the sinless one, is in a position to judge, and only God will rightly carry out the judgment. so he turned the crowd away. (More on this tomorrow.) She was caught…but this was not judgment day.
PRAYER: Lord, to be sexually broken is a scary thing, and to be “caught” a heart-rending thing. Yet in You, there is hope for every sinner. In You alone, we place our hope. Amen.