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Forgiven (John 8:1-11)

Submitted by D. James, Church Elder

Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

11 “No, Lord,” she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more

Before she knew what was going on she was pulled from her home, from her bed by men she did not know.  They practically dragged her along to the temple where there many people standing around listening to a man she had not seen before.  She was not given time to properly cover herself, so she stood in the crowd of people, ashamed and humiliated. Eventually she was dismissed from the crowd of people.  

As she stumbled from the temple, she could not believe what had just happened to her. Standing all alone in the circle of priest, Pharisees and all that had come to hear Him speak. She stood there accused of adultery.  Ashamed and fearing for her life, she had no words. She didn’t speak because she couldn’t.  Where was “he” at, the one who had enticed her in the first place, she thought to herself?  They only grabbed her.

Was this a set-up or what?  How did they know where I was, who I was with? Fear still gripped her heart. According to the Law of Moses, “THEY” were both to be stoned to death. Yet, here she was alone, afraid and still unable to make sense of it all as she made her way home.  

To the Sadducees, priest and other officials, this woman was nothing more than a means to an end that was to entrap Jesus by His words.  But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, turned the entire situation around when He stooped down and began to write in the dirt.  At His last words, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”- one by one they left leaving her alone with Grace, Mercy and Love.

No one had ever stood up for her or come to her defense., until this man.  There was an intent of that religious group to destroy her, but this man had stepped in on her behalf.  He had not looked at her with disgust nor had he condemned her.  All that she had heard of this man “Jesus” was true. He had spoken kindly to her to “go and sin no more”.  When He spoke, something changed in her.  She knew that she would never be the same no matter what happened after this.

We don’t hear of this woman after her encounter with Jesus.  But as He did with her, Jesus is still in the business of defending, saving, transforming and making new..   The same Jesus (Grace, Mercy and Love) stands ready to welcome you out of the darkness of your past into the glorious light in Him.  He never condemns or shames – He loves you too much.