THE WORD:  Please read John 8:1 – 11 – Seriously His word is perfect. Mine is not.

This is the familiar story of the woman caught in the act of adultery who was brought to Jesus by “teachers of the law and the Pharisees (religious leaders)”. 

It must have been quite a sensation to drag the woman in and stand her in shame before a multitude … and Jesus.

The religious leaders asked Jesus what He would say to do, their motive to trap Him by the question. Jesus did not let their agenda influence His actions. He quietly bent down and wrote on the ground. In response to their continued questioning, He straightened up and gave a brilliant and convicting answer:

            “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Of course there was no one.

So what happened here?

An accurate judgment (she was caught in the act)– an appropriate punishment (the Law of Moses said to stone her) – an uncanny mercy (Jesus). It wasn’t that what the woman had done wasn’t a sin deserving of death – God’s laws don’t change. What we see is God, through His Son Jesus, has an extravagant mercy to the repentant sinner.

The woman in the grasp of “righteous” people had no hope of escaping the judgment and punishment that adultery deserved. But then …  the presence of God in the person of Jesus stood up. Meeting His warm eyes  - how must she have felt when the only One who could condemn her … chose not to!

As a probation officer for 20 years, I watched a lot of people in the grasp of the consequences of breaking the law. They had various reactions. I always had a good feeling about the ones who looked down in sorrow and then looked me in the eye and listened to what they had to do.

I imagine myself like that when I come to ask forgiveness from Jesus. Sometimes I have waited until I have beat myself to a battered mess or maybe someone else has … it makes walking to Him difficult and its tough lifting my eyes.

But then I feel His presence and the mercy runs in warm waves over my soul. I can hear Him saying to the woman and to me:

            “Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.”