The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought a woman there. The woman had been caught doing the sin of adultery. These Jews forced the woman to stand before the people. They said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught having sex with a man that is not her husband. The law of Moses commands that we kill with rocks every woman that does this. What do you say we should do?" The Jews were using this question to trick Jesus. They wanted to catch Jesus saying something wrong. Then they could have a charge against him. But Jesus kneeled down and started writing on the ground with his finger.
— John 8:3-6 NLT
It was, of course, a trap set for Jesus. A religious question intended to take the compassion of Jesus and use it to crush him against the Law of Moses. It's funny how we can get so ramped up about our religious discussions that we lose sight of the heart of God. God is a God of holiness and integrity, righteousness and steadfast love. The two pairs go together. They are inseparable. Those who call upon his name as their God must pursue his character with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. The religious leaders here remind us how easily we shift from being righteous students of the Law into being vicious brutes pursuing self-justification. Lost in the argument and the pursuit of Jesus was the personhood of the unnamed woman. She is no more than a token to those who took her to Jesus, the bit of cheese on their religious mousetrap. However, even in the midst of those who hate him and would trap him, Jesus finds a way to deflect their venom from the woman and restore her dignity. People matter to God. Do they matter to us?
O LORD, God of Israel and Father of my Lord Jesus, please forgive me. I fear that I have not treated some as you would have had me treat them because they didn't fit into my religious comfortability. Give me a more compassionate heart and a greater skill to better say and do the redemptive thing in the lives of those who need your grace. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- John 9:1-3
- Joel 2:12-13
- Romans 5:6-11
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.