[The earliest mss do not include 7:53–8:11.]
[ 53 Then each one went to his house.
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
AN ADULTERESS FORGIVEN
2 At dawn he went to the temple again, and all the people were coming to him. He sat down and began to teach them.
3 Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center. 4 “Teacher,” they said to him, “this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. 5 In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say? ” 6 They asked this to trap him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse him.
Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with his finger. 7 When they persisted in questioning him, he stood up and said to them,“The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Then he stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. 9 When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only he was left, with the woman in the center. 10 When Jesus stood up, he said to her,“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? ”
11 “No one, Lord,” she answered.
“Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus.“Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”] (CSB)
How do you picture Jesus?
The False Dichotomy
He will not break a bruised reed,
and he will not put out a smoldering wick,
until he has led justice to victory.
The Controversy Of Grace (7:53-8:6)
…brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center.
“If a man commits adultery with a married woman — if he commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife — both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.
What’s the trap?
Grace For The Religious (8:6b-9)
Lord, the hope of Israel,
all who abandon you
will be put to shame.
All who turn away from me
will be written in the dirt,
for they have abandoned
the Lord, the fountain of living water.
To this day we have not the slightest idea what it was Jesus twice scribbled in the sand. By and large the commentators have asked the wrong questions…They ask what without ever realizing that the real question is why. It was not the the content that mattered but why He did it. Unexpected. Irritating. Creative. …What Jesus did that morning created a space in time that allowed the angry mob first to cool down, then to hear His word, and finally to think about it, be convicted by it and respond – or not…Jesus’ action created a frame around the silence – the kind of silence in which God speaks to the heart.
– Michael Card
“The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.”
What Jesus is NOT saying
Are you the lead repenter?
they left one by one, starting with the older men
Grace For The Rebellious (8:10-11)
Christ was “without sin,” and might cast the first stone; but though none more severe than he against sin, for he is infinitely just and holy, none more compassionate than he to sinners, for he is infinitely gracious and merciful, and this poor malefactor finds him so.
– Matthew Henry
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering…
The Order of Grace
Indicative to Imperative
Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive. Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.