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John 8 v 1 - 11

This is an oft-quoted incident, but it would be good to point out some incidental things in this passage as well as explore the central theme. For instance, this is the only time in the Gospels when it was mentioned that Jesus wrote. We don't know what He wrote, it could have been doodles or, as some Biblical commentators surmise, that it was the individual sins of each of the woman's accusers! This would help explain why the oldest slipped away first! We also learn that Jesus spent the night alone on the Mount of Olives. The times when He was led by the Holy Spirit to do this always was in preparation of major challenges ahead (e.g. Matthew 14 v 23, Luke 6 v 12). You may have noticed this too-I certainly have-that you can experience days of great peace and joy and in hindsight that day prepared you for the challenges ahead? The Scribes and Pharisees felt that they had caught Jesus this time: If Jesus said that the woman should be stoned to death, which was the right thing according to Jewish Law (Leviticus 20 v 10), then He could never again be called the friend of sinners and would cause an issue with the Roman occupiers, as Jews had no power to carry out death sentences. However, if He said the woman should be pardoned, then it could rightly be said that He was teaching people to break the law of Moses, even though He had stated that He had come to fulfil the Law (Matthew 5 v 17). In effect, Jesus gives His permission that the woman should be stoned, but only if the person committing that act has nothing to hide themselves. The authority and power of the truth-living Jesus is demonstrated wonderfully here. The Jewish religious leaders felt no pity for the woman, but were unwilling to have their hidden sins revealed in public. The plan that Jesus should be exposed before a large crowd had backfired on them and they slunk away, their murderous hatred for Jesus intensified. Jesus takes no satisfaction in His victory: His joy in that a poor sinner, a victim (the woman was taking the brunt of the punishment, but where was the man?), could be set free to sin no more. To God no person ever becomes a thing. God uses His authority to love us into goodness, what a wonderful God we have! Hallelujah! What a Saviour!


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