What would you do?
They said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. John 8:4
Have you ever been caught in the act? Maybe it was taking a cookie after you were told specifically not to? Or maybe you “borrowed” something from a friend or neighbor without letting them know? When you got caught, how did it feel? Was it awkward? Did you feel bad or like you betray a friend’s trust? Did you make excuses or blame someone else? Maybe you just laughed it off like it was no big deal. Ideally, you would own it by admitting that you did wrong and ask for forgiveness from the person you were offending.
In today’s reading, the religious leaders brought a woman to Jesus whom they said they caught in the act of adultery. Talk about awkward and shameful! How humiliating it was for this woman to be dragged into a group of people to be condemned and even worse stoned. They were prepared to kill her because it was the law and lets face it, they had done it before. This time there was an alternate purpose for condemning the woman and the fact is that she was probably set up so that they could bring her to Jesus. The whole situation was so messed up.
Jesus didn’t panic and it is no surprise that He handled the situation with the God kind of love in the God kind of way. The first thing He did was not let the pressure of the crowd bully Him into making a rash or quick decision. He took His time to consider wisdom and also showed that He was not moved by the outward circumstances but with compassion toward the women who was the guilty person.
Next Jesus seemed like He was just going about His business and not letting their urgency press Him at all. He knelt down to write in the dirt. Like He is totally disconnected to the situation. Finally, after the leaders continue to push Him, He gives the all wise answer of “Anyone who has not sinned go ahead and throw your stones.” Well, we all know that there is no one without sin, except for Jesus and since He wasn’t condemning her, there was no one left to punish her for her crime. After all that, Jesus turned to talk to the woman. He told her to go and sin no more. Then He told everyone left there that He is the light of the world and when we follow Him, we will not walk in the darkness. What a great message and promise.
I want to encourage you today that when you have the opportunity to judge or condemn others for their mistakes or sin, be like Jesus and don’t give into that pressure. Take some time to consider wisdom and the best way to respond. It is okay to let others wait for an answer and you will always look wise and not foolish when you wait on the Holy Spirit for direction. On the other side of that, if you get caught doing something you were not supposed to do, (hopefully nothing to this extent) don’t try to cover it up. Admit it and get rid of it. Hiding and covering things gives the enemy the hold he desires to have over your life. Expose him as soon as possible and get free from his grip for good.
Today’s scripture reading: John 8:1-12
1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them.
3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst,
4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.
5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?”
6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”
8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
11 She said, “No one, Lord.” and Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”