’And everyone went to his own house. But Jesus went to the Mount of Loves. Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a women caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, ‘’Teacher, this women was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?.’’
This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself and said to them, ‘’He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.’’
And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who had heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the women standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw on one but the women, He said to her, ‘’Women where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you? She said ‘’No one Lord.’’ And Jesus said to her, ‘’Neither do I condemn you; Go and sin no more.’’
Life can be though and difficult to cope with many times. It does not always turn out the way we want and expect, we do not always do what we desired we should have. This women find herself this particular day standing in the midst of a bloodthirsty crowd led by the defenders of righteousness. Her life had fallen apart in a day. She had failed morally publicly.
She is a women and it seems like the defenders of righteousness always goes for the weaker ones, those with less chance of defending themselves. They were a bunch against one single women.
Jesus was obviously a problem for those defenders of righteousness because they were seeking a reason to accuse Him for something, finding a way to get rid of this problem. Their whole ‘business idea’ was finding sin, judge, execute and eradicate the sinner as well as the sin. Their idea of dealing with sin was simply to either kill or excommunicate the sinner from among them.
This was the situation Jesus came into and started His mission, instead of judging sinners He forgave them, instead of excommunicating, He included people, instead of rejecting, He accepted people. He was the son of David, the king who began his rule with a bunch of misfits (1 Sam 22:1-2), and His mission was one of salvation not judgment. So in a spiritual tradition of measuring people by the Law of righteousness and then executing accordingly He kind of didn’t fit the spiritual form of a Rabbi. He was different!
This day they brought a women who obviously had broken the most serious of all spiritual requirements, she had committed adultery, broken the covenant she had with a man. It is emotionally for everyone involved a trauma of course, it’s a tragedy and a moral failure in every sense. She is brought to Jesus for judgement, they wanted Jesus who claimed to be a rabbi, a teacher of the law, to pass judgement on her. His answer astounds me to this very day, it’s beyond what my natural mind screams!
‘Let him who has no sin cast the first stone!’ They leave one after the other shameful because their own conscience convicted them and reminded them of their own dark moments of sin and failure, so one by one they left the place. The oldest went first, the longer life the more sin and failure been committed. Finally the women stands there alone with Jesus, maybe there were a crowd of people because it says she was standing in the midst of them still. Everyone waiting for Jesus to open His mouth again! You can sense the breathtaking silence and anticipation.
Jesus looks up and says, ‘Has no one judged you yet? Neither do I judge you! Go and sin no more’
‘Wait a minute, how can you do this!! She’s guilty and there got to be a punishment, a consequence of her actions’. Well, there probably where effects in her own life with broken family relations, long and difficult talks about divorce, crying children (if there were any), angry husband, lots of pain and grief. No doubt! But Jesus forgave her!
You see, law requires punishment, but grace gives undeserved forgiveness! Grace doesn’t keep records of past failures and sins. Grace forgets and releases people out of bondage.
Grace welds relations together again, grace heals broken hearts, grace puts the pieces together again. Jesus gives grace to the humble, to those who ask Him for it. Admitting our weaknesses and shortcomings to God and to each other. There is no one righteous, no one perfect, neither preacher nor pastor, neither layman nor priest, we all need salvation through Jesus Christ. The righteousness we stand in is not our own but His, the righteousness He gave to us by dying on a cross, carrying our sins, failures and shortcomings.
He is first and foremost our savior and our healer. The only one perfect is Jesus, the only one without sin is Jesus.
And He is the defender of the weak!