March 27, 2012

John 8:1-11

1 And Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he returned to the temple. All the people gathered around him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The legal experts and Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery. Placing her in the center of the group, 4 they said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. 5 In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone women like this. What do you say?” 6 They said this to test him, because they wanted a reason to bring an accusation against him. Jesus bent down and wrote on the ground with his finger.
 7 They continued to question him, so he stood up and replied, “Whoever hasn’t sinned should throw the first stone.” 8 Bending down again, he wrote on the ground. 9 Those who heard him went away, one by one, beginning with the elders. Finally, only Jesus and the woman were left in the middle of the crowd.
 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Is there no one to condemn you?”
 11 She said, “No one, sir.”
   Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on, don’t sin anymore.” (CEB)

What an incredible display of shame, regret, humiliation, grace, and restoration. I am struck by the way in which the "religious guys" seemed to care very little for the woman, other than to use her as a prop to trap Jesus. Jesus looks right through the words of the "religious" into the hearts of the crowd gathered to watch this spectacle, after all they thought they were about to witness someone getting stoned to death. And then Jesus hands down the verdict, "Whoever hasn't sinned should throw the first stone." The crowd goes silent and walks away leaving this woman to experience the love and mercy of God.

God loves you just where you are but loves you too much to leave you there and so Jesus says, "Go, and don't sin anymore." Hear Christ's words to you, "Neither do I condemn you. Now go, stop sinning." May you experience restoration that brings about transformation.

What do you find meaningful, confusing, or challenging in this passage?