The Adulterous Woman
Text: John 8:1-11
I. Jesus spent the night on the Mount of Olives, but returned to the temple the next morning.
A. People gathered and he began to teach
B. The scribes and Pharisees decided to lay a trap for Jesus
II. They brought a woman, caught in the very act of adultery
A. They quoted the law’s requirement that an adulterer be stoned - Leviticus 20:10
B. They then asked Jesus what they should do
C. There are several problems with this situation
1. The Roman Empire did not allow the Jews to carry out executions - John 18:31
a. If Jesus agreed with the Law of God, he would be chargeable under the Roman law.
b. If Jesus released the woman, he would be violating the law of God
2. Cases under the Old Law were to be tried by a judge.
a. While Jesus was well qualified to be a judge, he wasn’t a judge
3. Adultery takes two people: a man and a woman. Even though the woman was caught in the very act, the man was not brought.
III. Jesus ignored them and instead began to write on the ground
A. Many people would like to know what Jesus was writing.
B. Yet, they persisted. They want an answer.
C. Jesus stood up and simply said that the one without sin should throw the first stone.
1. His answer was in agreement with law.
2. Yet, he put the Jews in an awkward situation. If someone attempted to stone the woman, they Romans would arrest and possibly kill them.
3. Second, Jesus pointed out that their accusation was sinful, probably due to only bringing the woman.
a. To throw a stone would be to state that an unfair accusation was right and the people would be upset.
b. The Old Law required the accusers to participate in the stoning and to be the first to do so - Deuteronomy 17:7
D. He returned to writing on the ground
1. While Jesus was without sin, he was not the accuser
E. The older people leave first.
1. The wise realize the ramifications of Jesus’ reply quicker
2. They were more willing to admit their own sins.
F. The crowd leaves. They don’t want to be associated with this mess. Only the woman and Jesus are left.
IV. Jesus addresses the woman
A. Notice that even though everyone else has left, the woman remained without anyone making her stay.
1. Perhaps a hint that she is repentant of her sins.
B. Jesus asks where are her accusers and she replies that they all left.
C. Jesus tells her that he will not condemn her, but that she is no longer to sin.
1. Jesus is not saying what she did was right.
2. Jesus is not saying he is not aware of what she did.
3. However, the law required two or three witnesses before a death penalty is to be inflicted - Deuteronomy 17:5-6
4. With no accusers, there could be no punishment under the Law