The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. (John 8: 3-6)
Our pastor shared a story yesterday to demonstrate the power of Gospel. It was about this woman who was caught in adultery. When I read this verse a while back, I remember just nodding my head and going ok, and not giving it much thought. But I spent some time meditating this verse and the more and more I chewed on this story, I started to realize the true power of Gospel of Christ.
This woman, all she did was sin, and her sin was exposed to the world to see. Out of all the things, she got caught in the act of adultery. They (pharisees) basically dragged this woman (and the men she was having this affair with was not even in the picture, she was all by herself with no one to defend her) out into the crowd. I never really imagined this scene in my head before, but this might be the most humiliating thing you can ever imagine. She was probably half naked, absolutely mortified and filled with shame.
The Pharisees then ask Jesus, the Law says to stone her, now what do you say?
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. (John 8:6)
The first thing Jesus did was to bend down. Instead of answering their “trick” question, He lowered his posture near to the ground, and started to write something on the ground with his finger. I bet all the people who were staring at this half naked woman filled with shame with disdain, diverted their attention to see what Jesus was writing.
By doing this, people’s focus was no longer on the woman and her sin but on Jesus, and what he was doing. Jesus took her sin, her shame, and he consumed it. He took it away.
When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7)
and then crickets…
Is there anyone pure and blameless in this world? Not a single one. Even the Pharisees and whom they called the “Teachers of the Law” clearly had sin in their lives. (Some say that Jesus was probably writing down their names and their sins on the ground with his finger)
Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. (John 8:8-9)
The second time he stoops down again, the one and only one who’s truly blameless and righteous stoops down. Instead of standing on a high pedestal, he comes down and lowers his position in humility.
Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” (John 8:10)
Probably in the tiniest voice shaking with shame, she said “No one, sir,”
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11)
At the part where he said neither do I condemn you, tears welled up in my eyes. The gospel isn’t about you coming to God all holy and righteous after cleaning up your act to ask for salvation. The true Gospel is even in the midst of your sin, and you covered in shame, Jesus saying “I don’t condemn you.” I took your sin away at the cross, I paid the price for you, because I love you. Now Go and sin no more.
I bet her life was forever changed.