1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 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. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?" 6 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. 7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" 11 She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."
Questions to Consider:
The story of the lady caught in adultery happens to be a story that is not found in the earliest manuscripts of the Gospel of John. (It did not show up until about 400 A.D.) It is a very celebrated story--a rather great story--and yet many scholars are of an opinion that it should not be included in the Bible.
There are, as expected, counter arguments that would suggest that it was a widely circulated story in the early church and was inserted into the John narrative. The obvious question is this: "Did it actually happen?" We will not know the answer to that question until we are with Jesus.
The second question is also important: "Does this story fit in with the theology of Jesus?" On this question, I would affirm that the theology indeed fits the things that Jesus both taught and demonstrated in His life. Jesus ate with publicans and sinners. Jesus cleansed lepers. Jesus talked to a Samaritan woman. Jesus ate at the house of a tax collector. Finally, Jesus understood the difference between the letter and the spirit of the law.
In this story, Jesus demonstrates grace. Grace is the unmerited favor of God. The scribes and Pharisees were correct in their assessment of the Law. v.5 Under the Law of Moses the punishment for adultery was stoning. But, Jesus extended grace.
What the Pharisees failed to understand. Matthew 5:20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
A righteousness that exceeds the righteousness of the Pharisees can only be accomplished through the imputed righteousness of Christ. We are not saved by the merit of our own righteousness, we are saved by the grace of God.
Lead Teaching Elder: