Walking Away From Your Trial Uncondemned & Free to Sin No More

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative concerning the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically today’s passage is found in verses thirty-one through fifty-nine of the eighth chapter of the gospel. “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, and because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father; and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus aith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceedeth forth and came from God;  neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God” (John 8:31-47).

 

            “Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me. And I seek not mine own glory; there is one that seeketh and judgeth. Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? And the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself? Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by” (John 8:48-59).

           

            When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will come to the final part of the eighth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John. It is quite interesting to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for it begins with Jesus in the Temple within the city of Jerusalem after having spent some time going unto the mount of Olives. The eighth chapter of the gospel account written by the apostle John begins and opens up with Jesus journeying to the mount of Olives and then early the following morning making His way unto the Temple. It would be there in the midst of the Temple where not only would Jesus teach the people but so also would all the people come unto Him for to hear Him speak. We must needs recognize and pay close attention to this as it helps set the stage and the context for what would actually take place in the opening verses of this passage of Scripture. Immediately after the apostle John writes of Jesus entering into the Temple early in the morning and teaching the people we find the scribes and Pharisees bringing into the Temple, bringing unto Jesus and bringing into the midst of the crowd a woman who was taken in adultery. What we must recognize and realize is that when the scribes and the Pharisees brought this woman into the Temple and into the presence of Jesus they did so not only accusing her of her adultery and fornication but also seeking judgment and justice against her for her actions. The more you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more you will find and encounter the fact that the scribes and the Pharisees—essentially the religious elite and the religious community of that day—sought to not only accuse this woman in the house of God and in the presence of Jesus but also demanded justice and judgment against her for actions.

 

            The more you read the words which are found in this passage the more you will find and discover that there were essentially three different voices concerning this woman. There was the initial voice of the scribes and the Pharisees who brought this woman in her sin unto the presence of Jesus as they sought to accuse her of her adultery. There was the second voice of Moses and the Law which the living God had given him for the scribes and the Pharisees would declare unto Jesus how Moses commanded in the law that such a one be stoned. Finally there was a third voice present on this particular occasion and that was the voice of the Lord Jesus. Initially and at first there was the voice of the scribes and Pharisees which accused this woman of her adultery and her fornication in the company and presence of Jesus as well as all those who were perhaps surrounding Jesus listening to Him teach. This voice would immediately be followed by the voice of judgment and justice as we discover the voice of Moses in the Law demanding, commanding and permitting that such a one be stoned to death. Finally there was the voice of the Lord Jesus—a voice which was not immediately heard and manifested on this particular occasion. If there is one thing that is absolutely remarkable and astounding about this passage is that although there was the voice of religion accusing this woman and although there was the voice of Moses sentencing and judging this woman the voice of Jesus would not immediately be heard in the midst of the Temple. Instead of the voice of Jesus being heard we find Him stooping down to the ground and writing in the ground. Scripture is unclear as to what Jesus actually wrote in the ground, however, we do know that He wrote in it as though He had not heard the words which the scribes and the Pharisees had spoken unto Him.

 

            Perhaps one of the greatest truths present within this portion of Scripture is when you think about and consider the fact that although the voice of Jesus might not have been immediately heard we must needs acknowledge the fact that there was undoubtedly something He was speaking with His finger in the ground. We have absolutely no clue what Jesus actually wrote in the ground and we perhaps will never know what He wrote in the ground when He stooped down to the ground and began writing in it, however, what we do know is that when and while He was writing in the ground He acted as though He did not even hear the scribes and the Pharisees. Essentially Scripture suggests that Jesus initially disregarded and showed no acknowledgement of the accusation of the scribes and Pharisees and simply sought to write in the ground. Having heard the voice and accusation of the scribes and the Pharisees and having heard the judgment and condemnation of Moses in the Law Jesus would initially remain silent and would not speak a single word unto those who were present. It wouldn’t be until after the scribes and Pharisees would continue pressing this subject before Jesus that He would actually rise from the place where He had stooped and would address and acknowledge them. When He finally did speak He spoke only a few words before stooping down to the ground a second time. The words which Jesus spoke aren’t many and yet they carried a tremendous weight and significance within the hearts and souls of those who were present on this particular occasion. As Jesus spoke He would emphatically declare and proclaim unto those who sought to stone this woman and declare “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

 

            It’s worth noting that after the Lord Jesus had spoken these words—“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her”—He would again stoop down to the ground and continue writing in it. What the apostle John goes on to write is actually incredible when you take the time to think about it for immediately after Jesus had stood up to speak these words and after He had stooped down a second time to write in the ground those which heard his words were convicted by their own conscience and went out one by one beginning at the eldest and continuing unto the last until Jesus was left alone with the woman standing in the midst. We must pay close attention to this fact as the words which Jesus spoke unto those which were present—undoubtedly coupled together with the words He wrote in the ground—caused those who sought to condemn this woman in her sin to be convicted by their own conscience and depart from the Temple one by one. Oh how absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that as the scribes and the Pharisees would initially bring this woman caught and taken in the act of adultery into the Temple they would each depart perhaps going their own way and returning unto their home or wherever they came from. What we find within this passage is all those who sought to stone this woman—all those who sought to judge and condemn this woman—dropping their stones and departing one by one beginning with the eldest and all the way unto the last until Jesus was left alone with this woman who was still standing in the midst.

 

            In all reality there is something incredibly powerful found within this passage of Scripture for there is not a doubt in my mind that this woman perhaps felt a tremendous amount of guilt and shame for what she had done. Not only this but I would also dare say this woman felt utterly humiliated when she was taken in the act of adultery and brought into the Temple and into the presence of Jesus. BROUGHT FROM THE PLACE OF OFFENSE INTO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD! BROUGHT FROM THE PLACE OF OFFENSE INTO THE PRESENCE OF JESUS! Scripture is entirely and altogether unclear whether or not this woman’s adultery was exposed as she was caught in the very act and that one who caught her essentially reported her to the scribes, to the chief priests and to the Pharisees. Additionally we find that Scripture was not clear is this woman was caught and exposed in her sin and handed over to religion or whether it was religion that had caught this woman in the act—and not only caught this woman in the act but also taken her in that very act. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if this woman was brought from the place of offense wherever she was and was brought just as she was into the Temple of the Lord. Was this woman clothed—perhaps in part of perhaps not at all—when the scribes and Pharisees brought her into the Temple and into the presence of Jesus where they would accuse her of her adultery? We don’t know what this woman was wearing when the scribes and Pharisees brought her into the Temple and into the presence of Jesus and yet I would dare say there was a tremendous degree and measure of humiliation, guilt and shame that was present within her heart and soul as she stood there before all those who would have stoned her and in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

            One of the greatest truths found in this passage of Scripture which I can’t help but think about and consider when reading these words is when you consider the fact that even after this woman was left alone before and in the presence of Jesus she remained in that place. Imagine being in such a place where you were accused of your transgression and accused of your iniquity and where others called for justice and judgment against you and after Jesus spoke only a few words all those who sought to hurl stones at you departed one by one beginning at the eldest until there was none left. This woman remained standing there in the midst of the Temple—perhaps continuing to deal with the shame, the guilt and the humiliation for her actions as well as her being accused in the company and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. This woman could have turned and fled after she had realized there were none who remained to accuse her. This woman could have turned and fled from the courts of the Temple rather than remaining there standing all alone in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps one of the greatest truths that surrounds this passage of Scripture is when you read how this woman was not only left alone in the presence of Jesus but she was left alone there after all her accusers had each departed one by one from the midst of the Temple. Oh how incredibly intriguing it is to think about and consider the fact that this woman could have turned and fled from the presence of Jesus and could have fled from the Temple of the LORD and yet she remained there in the midst of the Temple standing alone before Jesus. The question I can’t help but ask is what caused this woman to remain there standing in the presence of Jesus all alone after all her accusers had departed one by one.

 

            WHY DIDN’T YOU RUN? WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO STAY? Oh the more I read this particular passage of Scripture the more I am absolutely and utterly captivated with the fact that this woman chose to remain standing there in the Temple and standing there in the presence of Jesus all alone after her accusers had departed one by one. I am sure it would have been incredibly easy for this woman to turn and run from the Temple after she realized that not only had her accusers departed from the midst of the Temple but also that she was still alive with no bruises, cuts, scrapes, wounds and the like. Stop for a moment and consider the fact that when this woman stood there alone before and in the presence of Jesus she not only stood with no accusers present there to cast a stone at her but she also stood there still very much alive. YOU’RE STILL ALIVE! YOU’RE STILL HERE! I am not entirely sure if those who had stones in their hands ready and waiting to stone this woman would have stoned her to death or whether they would have simply stoned her to severely and sorely wound her. We know that Moses demanded that such a one be stoned as a result of their transgression and iniquity and those who were present here on this particular occasion sought to stone this woman and judge her to the fullest extent of the Law. What we find, however, is Jesus allowing and permitting no one to cast a stone at this woman—and not only did Jesus not permit a single man to cast a stone at her but He also caused this woman to be left there alone before Jesus after all her accusers had departed.

 

            If there is one thing I can’t help but consider when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture it’s that this woman—after each of her accusers had departed one by one beginning at the eldest unto the last—would remain there standing before Jesus very much alive. I am sure this woman might have thought that her life was forfeit and that her life was over after not only being caught but also taken in the act of adultery. There is not a doubt in my mind this woman thought she would for sure be sentenced unto death and that her life would end on that particular day. Even if she was not stoned to death she might have expected to be severely wounded and bruised from the crushing and devastating weight and pressure of the stones that would have been hurled at her. What this woman would find, however, is not only all of her accusers departing from the Temple and leaving her alone with Jesus but she would also find herself very much alive without a single stone being cast at her. Oh there is something to be said that there was not a single one who initially sought to stone this woman who actually cast a stone against her. We might think that there would have perhaps been at least one who would have dared and who would have had the audacity to cast a stone at her and yet there was not a single one who would cast a stone at her. On this particular occasion—not only was this woman left alone in the presence of Jesus without a single stone being cast at her but she would also stand alone in the presence of Jesus still being very much alive with no wounds, no bruises, no scratches, no cuts, no scrapes or anything else that would and could have been afflicted against and upon her as a result of being stoned.

 

            I absolutely love the fact that this woman was not only left alone in the presence of Jesus but the apostle John writes how she was left standing in the presence of Jesus. This woman was not hunched over on the ground after having been stoned with stones by those who sought to accuse. This woman could have been crumpled on the ground in a heap of emotional ruin, shame, guilt and humiliation and yet what we find in the passage is that this woman was left alone in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for there is something incredibly powerful about this woman standing in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ after all her accusers had departed from the Temple. LEFT ALONE STILL STANDING AND STILL ALIVE! STILL STANDING AND STILL ALIVE! In the act and process of all her accusers departing from the Temple and from the presence of Jesus on this particular occasion we find and discover this woman was not only left standing but she was also left alive after not a single stone was cast at her. NOT A SINGLE STONE WAS CAST AND NOT A SINGLE ACCUSER REMAINED! What a truly wonderful and powerful truth it is to think about and consider the fact that this woman was entirely and altogether left alone in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ without a single accuser being left there in the Temple and without a single stone having been cast at her. Pause for a moment and consider how incredibly unique and powerful this truly is as this woman was not only left standing in the presence of Jesus but was also left standing in the presence of Jesus very much alive without any wounds or bruises inflicted against and upon her by the accusation and judgment of religion upon her.

 

            How absolutely incredible it is to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and to consider the fact that this woman was left alone in the presence of Jesus without a single stone having been cast against her and without a single accuser remaining there in the Temple. That which Jesus had in fact done on this particular occasion was not only deliver this woman from her accusers but He also delivered her from the stones of judgment and condemnation. Jesus would stoop down and write in the ground initially as though He had not heard a single word the scribes and the Pharisees had spoken unto Him and when they had pressed Him all the more He stood up and declared unto them that he which was without sin might cast the first stone at her. What the apostle John writes and records is absolutely incredible when you take the time to consider it for the apostle John writes and records how this woman was left all alone in the presence of Jesus after all of her accusers had departed from the Temple beginning with the eldest and continuing unto the last and perhaps the youngest. This woman was left standing in the presence of Jesus without and apart from any accusers remaining there to accuse her and without any stones having been cast at her. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth of what Jesus actually did on this particular occasion. It would be on this particular day when the Lord Jesus would have undoubtedly delivered this woman from the voices of accusation as well as from the weight of the stones of judgment. DELIVERED FROM THE VOICES OF ACCUATION AND FROM THE WEIGHT OF THE STONES OF JUDGMENT! This woman would be left standing in the company and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ with all her accusers having departed and without a single stone having been hurled at her.

 

            It is one thing to write and speak of this woman being left alone in the presence of Jesus with none of her accusers being left there to accuse her, however, it was something else entirely and altogether to read of this woman being left there in the presence of Jesus without any wounds, bruises, scrapes, and cuts from stones which had been hurled at her. If you think about it there could have been two possible outcomes to this scenario had this woman’s accusers not departed one by one leaving her all alone in the presence of Jesus. On the one hand this woman could have been dead there in the Temple after having been stoned to death—an act which the text seems to imply would and could have only happened had Jesus aligned Himself with the accusation of the scribes and Pharisees and had Jesus aligned Himself with that which was written in the Law of Moses. On the other hand this woman could have been lying there in the midst of the Temple wounded and bruised after perhaps not every one of her accusers had stoned her but some of them actually felt justified in casting a stone at her. This woman could have been stoned—either stoned and wounded or stoned and killed—but only if Jesus had condoned and authorized such an act to be committed. Perhaps one of the greatest truths found in this passage of Scripture is that this woman could have been stoned—either stoned to death or stoned and wounded—yet it appears that Jesus alone held the final word and was the final say on whether or not she would and could have been stoned.

 

            JESUS SPEAKS A BETTER WORD! Oh the more I read the words found in this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the incredibly awesome and powerful truth that although Moses in the law commanded, permitted and authorized such a woman to be stoned to death it appeared that this would and could have only happened had Jesus authorized it. Although Moses in the Law commanded, demanded and permitted that such a one be stoned in response to the iniquity and transgression the apostle John seems to suggest that it was Jesus who held the final word and was the final authority for whether or not this woman was stoned. There is not a doubt in my mind that had Jesus authorized this woman to be stoned to death those who accused her in the midst of the Temple would have cast a stone at her. In all reality this is something worth thinking about and considering when you take the time to think about it for although the Law of Moses seemed to authorize, permit and approve of such a one being stoned it would be Jesus whose word would be even greater than that of Moses and that of the Law. When the scribes and Pharisees came unto the presence of Jesus they would do so declaring that which Moses in the Law had authorized and permitted and yet despite that which Moses had authorized and permitted in the Law we find Jesus’ words being the ultimate say and the ultimate word on whether or not this woman would and could have been stoned. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading this passage it’s that this woman might very well have been stoned had Jesus not responded the way that He did and had Jesus not spoken the words which He did and yet not only was this woman left standing with no accusers remaining but she was also left standing without a single stone being cast at her.

 

            There is something powerful found within this passage of Scripture as what we find here within it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely tremendous truth that despite what Moses authorized, permitted, commanded and demanded in the Law it appears that this woman would and could have only been stoned had Jesus authorized it. What we must needs recognize is that Jesus didn’t explicitly instruct the scribes and the Pharisees not to stone this woman any more than He authorized and commanded them to stone her. It is quite clear that the scribes and the Pharisees brought this woman unto the Temple and into the presence of Jesus to tempt Jesus, yes, but I would also dare say that they did so seeing if Jesus would condone, authorize and approve of their stoning this woman. There is the powerful sense when reading this passage that the scribes and the Pharisees might very well have stoned this woman had Jesus seemingly given His approval and the go-ahead to do so. What we find, however, is Jesus delivering this woman from her accusers and delivering this woman from the stones which would have been hurled at and against her. This woman would and could have been stoned to death at the behest of her accusers and yet what we find is that she was left there standing before Jesus with not a single accuser present and without a single stone having been cast at her. Oh we must needs pay attention to this for the text wonderfully and powerfully suggests that this woman could very well have been stoned and perhaps even stoned to death had Jesus not only aligned Himself with the accusations brought against her but also with the judgment and condemnation written in the Law of Moses. I am convinced that had Jesus spoken unto the scribes and Pharisees and agreed with the Law of Moses and permitted her to be stoned she would indeed have been stoned.

 

            As I sit here today thinking about the words found in this passage of scripture I can’t help but be absolutely and entirely captivated with the fact that Jesus’ words were the final say and the final authority on whether or not this woman would and could have been stoned. I wrote and mentioned earlier how there were at least three different voices present within this passage not including the voice of the woman—the voice of her accusers, the voice of her guilt and punishment, and the voice of compassion and mercy. How incredibly powerful it is to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and consider the fact that there was indeed the voice of accusation, there was the voice of judgment and condemnation, and there was the voice of grace and mercy. It would be the voice of grace and mercy that would authorize and allow this woman to be delivered from her accusers and from the judgment and condemnation which would and could have been hurled against and upon her. It would be the voice of grace and mercy that would not only deliver this woman from her accusers but would also deliver her from the stones which would have been hurled against her. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular truth and reality as it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth and reality that she could have very easily and very well have been stoned to death there in the midst of the Temple and more blood could have been spilt and yet what we find is this woman being left very much alive and without a single scrape, scratch, wound and bruise being upon her physical body. Much like the three Hebrews boys in Babylon emerged from the fiery furnace without the smell of smoke upon them and without a single hair on their body being singed this woman would stand there in the Temple having not been touched with the wounds and the bruises of religion.

 

            AFFLICTED WITH THE WOUNDS OF RELIGION! AFFLICTED WITH THE BRUISES OF RELIGION! This woman could have very easily been stoned by at least a couple of those who thought and felt they were justified in casting a stone at her and she could have very easily been wounded and afflicted there in the midst of the Temple. This woman could have very easily been wounded and afflicted there in the Temple of the LORD as those who felt justified to cast a stone at her actually had stoned her. It is entirely and altogether possible that there could have been at least one who felt justified in casting a stone at her and yet what the Scripture suggests is that not only was this woman left standing without a single one to accuser her but she was also left standing without a single stone having been cast at her. This was entirely and altogether made possible by and through the words which Jesus spoke unto those who were present as Jesus would declare that those who were without sin could cast the first stone at her. Jesus could have authorized them to cast stones at her and the Law would have been satisfied and yet the truth of the matter is that Jesus neither authorized nor permitted stones to be cast at her. Not only this but Jesus was the only one who could have cast a stone at her for He was the only one without sin among them and yet He deliberately and intentionally chose not to cast a stone at her. Even when He declared that those who were without sin could cast a stone at her He Himself who was without sin chose not to cast a stone at her. What we must needs recognize and understand when reading this passage of Scripture is that not only did Jesus deliver this woman from the stones which would and could have been hurled at and against her but He also chose not to cast a stone at her Himself. Jesus could have left this woman standing there without any accusers and without anyone casting a single stone at her and He could have picked up a stone and hurled it at her and yet He chose not to do so.

 

            I absolutely love the words found in this passage of Scripture as it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely incredible truth that Jesus was entirely and altogether willing to deliver this woman from her accusers—and not only from her accusers but also from the stones which would and could have been hurled against her. Jesus could have aligned Himself with the Law of Moses and authorized and allowed this woman to be stoned with stones and yet the truth of the matter is that Jesus chose to speak a better word there in the midst of the Temple. Oh what is utterly captivating within this passage is when you read and consider the fact that Jesus did not acknowledge nor speak a single word concerning this woman’s sin when He initially spoke unto the scribes and the Pharisees and yet He would speak a better word during that time. What we must needs recognize and understand when reading this passage of Scripture is that the words which Jesus spoke not only spoke a better word over and against the Law which was written by Moses but it also spoke a better word for this woman from that day on. Jesus spoke a better word than the Law of Moses for although the Law demanded and commanded that such a one be stoned Jesus would declare that those who were without sin could indeed and could in fact cast the first stone at her. Jesus spoke a better word to this woman herself when He asked her where her accusers were and whether or not there was one left to accuse her. When this woman responded to Jesus by declaring how there were no accusers left there to accuser her He declared unto her that He did not condemn her. This would be followed up with a word of caution and warning to her to go and sin no more.

 

Pause for a moment and consider the tremendous truth and significance in the words Jesus spoke unto this woman for not only did he ask her where her accusers were and whether or not there was any man who condemned her but He also emphatically declared unto her that neither did He condemn her. HATH NO MAN CONDEMNED THEE? NEITHER DO I CONDEMN THEE! What a truly awesome and powerful truth this is when you take the time to consider it for not only was this woman left without any to accuse her but even when she was standing in the presence of the one who could have condemned her she would stand without any having condemned her. This woman would stand very much alive and without any wounds, bruises, scrapes and scars from the stones which were hurled against her and she would be permitted to go forth from that place. This woman would be permitted to escape the stones which would and could have been hurled against her, this woman was permitted to escape the voice of her accusers who sought to condemn her, and this woman was permitted to depart from the Temple not only very much alive but also not having been condemned by the one person who would and could have cast a stone at her. This woman would depart from the Temple on this particular day having been entirely and altogether delivered and set free from her accusers and from the condemnation which would and could have been lobbied against her. Stop and focus on how incredible this truly is when you take the time to think about it for Jesus would speak a better word for and concerning this woman as He would be an advocate for her—and not only an advocate but also an advocate of grace and an advocate of mercy. There was this woman who stood before and in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ without any to accuser her and without a single stone having been cast at her and she was permitted to go without even being condemned by Jesus.

 

            One of the things that has always fascinated me when reading the words found in this passage is Jesus’ stooping down and writing in the ground. I have long been intrigued and captivated by this as it wonderfully and powerfully suggests and speaks of Jesus being willing to get down in our dirt together with us. Jesus heard the words which the scribes and the Pharisees had spoken concerning this woman and He heard the words which Moses the servant of the LORD had spoken concerning such a one and yet before even speaking a single word He would choose to stoop down and write in the ground. Oh there is something truly wonderful and powerful about a Jesus who is willing to get down into our dirt and a Jesus who is willing to stoop down and begin writing in the ground when we stand accused—and not only stand accused but also when others are calling for justice and judgment to be hurled against us. If there is one thing we must needs recognize when reading the words found in this passage it’s that this woman could have stood accused and condemned there in the Temple and could have had stones hurled at and against her and yet Jesus would speak a better word unto and concerning her. The voice of grace and mercy would not only deliver her from those who would have accused her but the voice of grace and mercy would also deliver this woman from the stones which would have been hurled at and against her. This woman could have been stoned and perhaps even stoned to death and yet the truth of the matter is that she was left there in the midst of the Temple standing all alone without any to accuse her and without a single stone having been cast at her.

 

            Perhaps one of the greatest questions we must needs ask ourselves when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture is whether or not we truly recognize and understand how incredibly powerful this truly is. Do we truly understand and realize how powerful it is to read a passage like this and consider the fact that this woman would be caught and taken in the act of adultery there in the midst of the Judaea and would be brought into the presence of Jesus and religion itself would look to see if Jesus would authorize this woman to be stoned. Oh this woman was indeed guilty and the Law did indeed permit this woman to be stoned and yet religion still sought to hear from Jesus and what Jesus would have to speak concerning her. WHEN RELIGION DESIRES TO HEAR WHAT JESUS WILL SPEAK! What a truly astonishing truth is found in this passage of Scripture when you think about and consider the fact that although religion accused this woman and although religion would have stoned this woman according to what was permitted within the law of Moses it would still not only bring this woman into the presence of Jesus but would also seek to hear what Jesus would say and speak concerning this woman. In fact when you read the words written and recorded in this passage you will find the scribes and the Pharisees point blank asking Jesus, saying, “But what sayest thou?” It is this question asked on this particular day which we must needs recognize and understand when reading this passage of Scripture for it is an incredibly powerful question when you think about it. Religion knew what the Law and what Moses said and had spoken and yet it now sought to hear that which Jesus would speak and what Jesus would say concerning this woman. Religion would bring this woman into the presence of Jesus not only declaring that which Moses had spoken in the Law but also asking Jesus what He said and what He would speak concerning this woman and her iniquity and transgression.

 

            I find myself being absolutely and utterly fascinated with the words which are written in this passage of Scripture for what we find before us is a powerful picture of religion accusing a woman who was caught in the act of adultery, we find religion speaking of and declaring the word which Moses and the Law had spoken concerning such an individual, and yet religion also sought to hear what Jesus would say and speak concerning such a woman. Oh we know what the scribes and Pharisees had spoken concerning this woman and we know what the Law commanded and spoke concerning such a one who had been caught in the act of adultery and yet there was one other word which religion itself needed to hear. This word which religion needed to hear was the word of Jesus as religion itself would seek to hear whether or not Jesus would condemn this woman. What’s more is that religion would also seek to hear whether or not this woman would be judged and condemned by Jesus and the stones being permitted to fly at and against her. There is not a doubt in my mind that had Jesus aligned Himself with their accusation and had Jesus aligned Himself with Moses’ condemnation and judgment this woman would have been stoned by those which were present and would have quite possibly been stoned to death. Instead of Jesus aligning Himself with the accusation of religion and with the condemnation of the Law He would emphatically declare that those who were without sin would and could cast the first stone against her. Jesus would speak a word which was so much better concerning this woman for the word which He spoke was not only the voice of mercy and grace but it would also be the word that would deliver her from her accusers and from the stones which would have been hurled against her.

 

            We must pay attention to what is before us here in this passage of Scripture as it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding this woman and how she had indeed been caught and taken in the act of adultery and brought into the presence of Jesus as religion sought to hear what Jesus spoke concerning her. Oh we know what religion spoke concerning this woman and we know what the Law spoke concerning this woman and yet what everyone wanted to know is what Jesus spoke concerning this woman. In all reality I would dare say this same reality is present within our midst today as we know what religion speaks concerning individuals who have committed egregious wrongs and offense against others, and we know what the law says and speaks concerning those who have committed crimes of any sort and magnitude, and yet perhaps the single greatest question that is being asked is what Jesus says and what Jesus spoke concerning such individuals. We know what popular opinion speaks and declares concerning Derek Chauvin and we know what the family of George Floy speaks concerning him. We know what the jury believed and spoke concerning this man and how they found him guilty. We know what the law speaks and perhaps even demands concerning this man and what many professing Christians say and speak concerning this man and the act he committed against another individual. We know what popular opinion and what senators and congressmen and congresswomen say concerning those who stormed the Capitol Building on January 6th and we know what many professing Christians say and believe concerning such individuals. We know what big tech and what big media says concerning those involved with the events of January 6th and what they say and speak concerning individuals such as Derek Chauvin. There is not a doubt in my mind that we know what popular opinion and what culture and society say concerning such individuals and there is absolutely no denying or missing such an understanding.

 

            When I read the words found in this passage of Scripture I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that this passage highlights and underscores one of the greatest questions which can indeed be asked concerning such individuals have committed within our culture and society. As I read the words found in this passage of Scripture I can’t help but think about the fact that religion had its own accusation and word spoken against and concerning this woman and Moses in the Law had its own word and condemnation against this woman and yet what was desired on this particular occasion is what Jesus said and what Jesus spoke concerning this woman. What does Jesus speak concerning Derek Chauvin? What does Jesus say and speak concerning Jeffrey Epstein? What does Jesus speak concerning Aaron Hernandez? What does Jesus speak concerning those who were charged and convicted in the events of January 6th in our nation’s capital? What does Jesus say concerning those who have committed such egregious atrocities and crimes among us within our culture and society? It is absolutely necessary and imperative we recognize and understand this for this is perhaps one of the greatest questions we must needs ask. It is not only a matter of what Jesus said and spoke concerning this woman but it is also about what Jesus spoke and speaks concerning us. This is something that must needs be carefully considered—particularly and especially when you consider the following words which Jesus Himself spoke when He talked with a Pharisee by the name of Nicodemus who came to Him by night inquiring of Him and seeking an audience. I am absolutely convinced that these words must be carefully examined and understood for they serve as the backdrop and the foundation of what is found in the eighth chapter of this New Testament gospel as the word which Jesus spoke concerning this woman was that He did not condemn her. Oh pause for a moment and consider just how absolutely incredible this truly is when you truly think about it as Jesus would speak a word unto this woman and that word was that he did not condemn her.

 

            It is with all of this in mind I now invite you to consider the following words which are found in the third chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative which was written by the apostle John. The words which we find Jesus speaking here unto Nicodemus who came to Him by night seeking an audience and seeking to ask Him questions are a powerful foundation for what is present before us within this passage of Scripture. The words which are present in the third chapter of this New Testament gospel not only highlight the heart of the Father but also the heart of the Son. Not only do the words which are presented here highlight the heart of the Father and the Son but they also highlight the divine mission and purpose for which Jesus the eternal and only begotten Son had been sent unto the earth. That which Jesus had spoken within this particular occasion help us to understand the better word which Jesus had spoken unto this woman who was not only caught but also taken in the act of adultery. Religion would bring this woman who was caught and taken in the act of adultery and would accuse her and religion would speak of the word which Moses commanded in the Law and how Moses commanded that such a one be stoned. Despite what religion believed concerning this woman and despite what religion knew was written in the Law of Moses it still desired and demanded to know what Jesus had spoken concerning this woman. Religion had its own opinion concerning this woman and religion had its own idea concerning this woman and yet it desired to know what Jesus spoke concerning her. Moses and the Law had its own judgment and punishment and condemnation for such a woman and yet the scribes and the Pharisees still desired to know what Jesus had spoken concerning such a woman. Oh with this in mind consider the following words which are found in the third chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John:

 

            “Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man, which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:10-21).

 

            It is absolutely necessary that we pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for not only do they help us understand Jesus’ interaction with the scribes and Pharisees and the woman who was taken in the act of adultery but they also help us to understand the words which are found in the first chapter of this gospel and the words found in the second portion of this chapter. In the opening portion of this chapter we find and read of the narrative of the woman who was caught in the act of adultery, brought unto the Temple, brought into the presence of Jesus and not only accused by religion but also condemned according to the Law. Despite the fact this woman was accused by religion and sentenced by the Law Jesus would indeed speak a better word concerning here—namely, that He did not condemn her. The word which Jesus had spoken unto this woman who was caught in the act of adultery was incredibly powerful when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that Jesus was not sent into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. Jesus did not enter into the world to condemn it but that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life. What we must needs recognize and understand concerning this passage is that not only did Jesus deliver this woman from her accusers and not only did Jesus deliver this woman from the stones but He also gave her life. What’s more is that in addition to Jesus giving this woman life He would give her life back unto her. Despite the fact that she was caught and taken in adultery Jesus would send her on her way having not been condemned by Him and with the instruction and command to go and sin no more. How incredibly powerful it is to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and consider the fact that this woman would indeed hear and receive a better word by Jesus—one of grace and mercy which would condemn her but would grant unto her life. This woman would be able to walk out of the Temple without being condemned by Jesus, without any accusers standing there to accuse her and without having a single stone thrown at her.

 

            I have to admit that when I read the words found in this passage of Scripture I wonder what it was like for this woman when she departed from the presence of Jesus and when she departed from the Temple. We know that Jesus delivered this woman from her accusers and we know that Jesus delivered her from the stones which would have been hurled at her but we also know and understand that Jesus sent this woman on her way without condemning her. The only instruction and command Jesus gave to this woman when sending her on her way was to go and sin no more. Oh I can’t help but wonder what it must have been like for this woman as she departed from the presence of Jesus and departed from the Temple having been delivered from her accusers and having been delivered from the stones which would have been hurled against her. I wonder what it would have been like for this woman as she departed from the Temple and perhaps even walked past some of the very ones who had accused her in the presence of Jesus within the Temple of the Lord. What was it like for this woman as she was departing from the Temple and walked past some of those same individuals who previously had stones in their hands ready to stone her and yet now she was completely delivered from their accusations and condemnation. What’s more is that this woman had stood before Jesus guilty, she had stood before Jesus condemned, she had stood before Jesus preparing to be stoned and yet she would end up walking away from the situation no longer accused and having not been condemned. With this being said there is a part of me that wonders if this women walked past and encountered some of the very ones who sought to accuse and condemn her after that experience in the Temple of the LORD and whether they persisted to hurl shame, condemnation, guilt, accusation and judgment against her. Is it possible that this woman departed from the Temple of the LORD having recognized what had taken place and was able to walk past some—if not many of her accusers.

 

            WALKING PAST YOUR ACCUSERS! Oh there is a part of me that wonders if this woman departed from the Temple and actually walked past some of the same ones who had stood accusing her in the Temple in the presence of Jesus. I can’t help but wonder if this woman had indeed walked past many of those who sought to condemn her according to the Law of Moses and who demanded that she be stoned and yet she knew she had been delivered and set free from her sin. Despite the fact the Law demanded and provided that she be stoned because of her iniquity and indiscretion she would walk out of the Temple having not been condemned—either by the Law nor by the Lord Jesus. What a truly awesome and powerful truth it is when considering the fact that this woman would depart from the Temple having not been condemned by and according to the Law and having not been condemned by Jesus. Despite the fact that the Law demanded and provided that she be stoned the Law would and could not condemn her because Jesus Himself was greater than the Law. Oh if there is one thing this passage powerfully demonstrates it’s that the Lord Jesus is indeed greater than the Law and that the word Jesus speaks far outweighs and is far superior to what the Law reveals. Although the Law not only permitted but also commanded that such a one be stoned Jesus’ word would be greater than what the Law required, commanded and provided for this woman. It is absolutely incredible to think about and consider this particular passage for within it we find a powerful picture of the Moses and the Law commanding this woman be stoned and yet Jesus’ word would be vastly superior and exceed that of Moses. It is with this in mind I now invite you to consider the following words which are found in the first and opening chapter of this New Testament gospel concerning the Lord Jesus Christ:

 

            “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same ame for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. FOR THE LAW WAS GIVEN BY MOSES, BUT GRACE AND TRUTH CAME BY JESUS CHRIST. NO man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:1-18).

 

As I bring this writing to a close it’s imperative that we recognize the woreds which are found in this passage of Scripture as they bring us face to face with what is presented before us in the eighth chapter. In the eighth chapter we see a clear and present distinction between the judgment and condemnation that would come together with the Law of Moses and the grace, the mercy and the truth that comes through Jesus Christ. It would be in the eighth chapter where Jesus would not only display that He was indeed the Light which shines in the darkness but also that He is the author of life. In the eighth chapter we find and discover that Jesus speaks a better word than that which was commanded and permitted in the Law of Moses and how grace and truth come directly through Him. The truth that is found within this passage is in Jesus’ words unto those who would have cast a stone at this woman as He declared that he which was without sin could cast the first stone. It would be the truth found in and the truth spoken by Christ that would deliver this woman from her accusers and from the stones themselves and it would be the grace that would send this woman on her way. Grace would indeed and would in fact be manifested within the life of this woman on this particular occasion as Jesus would not only declare unto her that He did not condemn her but also instructed and commanded her to go her way and sin no more. It is grace that chose not to condemn this woman of that for which she was accused and guilty and it was grace which sent this woman on her way with the command not to sin anymore. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular truth for in the latter portion of the eighth chapter we find and discover Jesus as emphatically declaring that He is indeed the Light of the world—that light which shines in the darkness and which gives light unto men and that light which shone in this woman’s darkness and not only granted her life but also forgiveness.

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