The Adulterous Woman
1. Her Sin: Adultery: see Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 22:22-30 for the Law given by God regarding adultery. The Pharisees saw this sin from this perspective. A question: Is this different from our civil law today, and if so, how is it different?
Jesus spoke to both the woman and the religious leaders about sin. Why? Adultery is sin, but no worse a sin than any other – James 2:10; Romans 3:10-18, 23; Galatians 3:22 – the whole world is a prisoner of sin; all are as guilty as she is – Proverbs 28:13.
2. Her Shame: Possibly half-dressed (caught in the act); accused publicly; her sin is out in the open. Sin is always shameful and humiliating when it is revealed before other people – Luke 12:2-3. All of our sins will one day be make public – not just before people, but before God – Matthew 7:21-23.
3. Her Sentence: The Pharisees were right that she deserved to die for her sin – according to the Law. Where was the man involved in the act of adultery?
In view of the Law, why do you think that they brought the woman but not the man?
4. The Scheming Critics
A. Their Plan - These men had it in their heads to pin Jesus on the horns of a dilemma. If Jesus simply let the woman go, then He would be seen as being easy on sin and could have been arrested for being in violation of the Law. If, however, He gave permission for the woman to be killed, He could then be accused before Rome as an upstart and a seditionist, and He would have destroyed His reputation as being the "friend of publicans and sinners". They felt that no matter what Jesus said, He had no wiggle room.
These religious men are just like legalists in our day. They couldn't have cared less about this woman, her sin, her soul, or her eternal destiny. All they cared about was pressing their agenda, and their brand of righteousness. Thing haven't changed! All Pharisees are the same!
B. Their Problems - Their plan might have succeeded with an ordinary man, but they were dealing with Jesus Christ, and He simply refused to play by their rules! When they tried to stump Jesus, They discovered that they had met their match. Notice how He responded to their arguments.
1. V. 6 They Were Ignored - While they were talking to the Lord, He just knelt down Hand began to write on the ground. He had no use for their pettiness and lack of love for sinners. How did Jesus’ actions show that the woman was not a throwaway person” in His sight?
What did Jesus write? Well, for 2,000 years, men have tried to solve that little mystery. I don't know! And, neither does anyone else! Some guesses………………………………………..
a. The Ten Commandments? After all, it was his finger that wrote them the first time!
b. Perhaps He wrote their names in fulfillment of Jeremiah 17:13.
c. Maybe He wrote out Lev. 20:10 and Deut. 22:22.
d. Maybe He simply wrote their girlfriends names in the sand.
Whatever the Lord wrote on the ground, it surely got their attention. Their attempt to use this woman, most likely rejected by society, for their gain backfired. Many people are almost faceless to us. We see them only for what they can do for us. We avoid other people because their problems are too big for us to fix, because they embarrass us, or because we simply feel they and their problems are beneath us in our station in life. We sometimes are concerned about what our close friends or relatives will think of us if we go to the defense of the “throwaway people” around us.
Jesus is the sinner’s friend – Luke7: 34; 15:2; 19:7. He is concerned with the eternity of our souls – not about His reputation. Our efforts toward these should be to mirror Christ in our behavior and treatment of them.
We are called to follow Paul’s teaching in Philippians 2:3-4. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.