After spending time praying at the Mount of Olives, Jesus went back to the temple. People gathered around him, and he sat down and taught them. In the midst of his teaching, the scribes and Pharisees brought to him a woman caught in adultery.
“Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” (John 8:4-5)
They weren’t actually seeking his advice. They were hoping to trick him into saying something they could use against him. Only Jesus didn’t cooperate.
Instead of speaking, he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. Then he stood up and said, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he went back to his writing.
We don’t know what he wrote, but whatever it was, it got their attention. Between his writing and his words, the leaders slipped away, one after another, beginning with the older ones.
When Jesus looked up, he was alone with the woman standing before him. He stood up and addressed her.
“‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.’ (John 8:10-11)
This woman had no defense. She was caught in the act. She was guilty. She deserved whatever punishment was given her, which in this case was stoning, but Jesus forgave her sins.
Instead of condemnation, he gave her forgiveness and a chance to start over and do right.
Read about the Samaritan woman: John 8
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