53 Then each of them went home, 1while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. 3The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, 4they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. 5Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.” (John 7:53-8:11)
The four Gospels provide a record of the life and ministry of Jesus. The Gospels are more than a historical account but rather they provide living words which give insights and instruction. The Gospels are not a blueprint nor a cookbook but rather they are a written record of the living word from the living Word, Jesus. We have the words of Jesus to give us all that we need to live. These words challenge us to examine ourselves, to be honest, and willing to live by the example, Jesus. The teachings of Jesus are given to us for instruction. Are we willing to accept them?
The words of Jesus printed on the pages of the Bible are useless unless we apply them. It is like coming to dinner and not eating. All the food smells good but if we never eat, we will never get nourishment.
Our text tells the story of a community situation and the attempt of the religious people to trap Jesus. Jesus is confronted with a Mosaic Law question. A woman caught in the act of adultery is brought before Jesus.
The scribes and Pharisees make a statement. According to the Law, the woman should be stoned to death. They ask Jesus what is His view? Jesus looks around and finally says……..who here is without sin may throw the first stone. (Just a side note: where is the man caught in the act of adultery?)
As recorded in the story, every man walks away. We are all sinners and Jesus reminds us of that fact. With the woman, Jesus reminds us we are all in need of grace. Grace is offered and grace is received. Jesus did not come to condemn us but to save us. Let us not be greater than Jesus.
Jesus was the only one who could have been justified to throw the first stone. But instead, Jesus offered grace.
Let us be like Jesus. This is a lesson from Jesus.