The Jewish leaders continued to ask Jesus their question. So Jesus stood up and said, "Is there any person here that has never sinned? That person without sin can throw the first rock at this woman." Then Jesus knelt down again and wrote on the ground. The people that heard Jesus began to leave one by one. The older men left first, and then the others. Jesus was left there alone with the woman. She was standing before him.
— John 8:7-9
The lynch mob doesn't want truth. It doesn't want redemption or righteousness either. With the shame of the woman they had tasted blood. Now they wouldn't back down until their desire was satiated. No word could hold them back. They would press Jesus till they had what they wanted. But then Jesus spoke a word they had not expected. It was a heaven-sent word. It was a word rooted in truth and a word that struck their very soul. They knew they were not sinless. This word of truth penetrated to the hearts of those who were mature and knew both life and law. As Jesus glanced away to write in the dust, he gave them permission to leave without being shown up. For a brief moment, righteousness triumphed over hatred and self-importance. Those who were younger followed the example of the older men, leaving the woman protected and safe with Jesus. Redemption in action. The Gospel portrayed before our very eyes. Jesus takes the hate of hell and our own sin and turns back the foe, leaving us safe and in his presence.
How can I thank you, dear Father, for the salvation Jesus has purchased for me. Lord Jesus, thank you! The words seem so shallow and so small before your expansive grace. Use me to be a conduit of that grace to others. All glory to you, O Father who reigns above all, and to you, Lord Jesus, for you have triumphed over sin and death to rescue me. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
All the Jewish leaders left and went home. Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning Jesus went back to the temple area. All the people came to Jesus. Jesus sat and taught the people. 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. The Jewish leaders continued to ask Jesus their question. So Jesus stood up and said, "Is there any person here that has never sinned? That person without sin can throw the first rock at this woman." Then Jesus knelt down again and wrote on the ground. The people that heard Jesus began to leave one by one. The older men left first, and then the others. Jesus was left there alone with the woman. She was standing before him. Jesus looked up again and asked her, "Woman, all of those people are gone. None of them judged you guilty?" The woman answered, "None of them judged me, sir." Then Jesus said, "So I also don't judge you. You can go now, but don't sin again."
God was pleased for all of himself to live in Christ. And through Christ, God was happy to bring all things back to himself again—things on earth and things in heaven. God made peace by using Christ's blood (death) on the cross. At one time you were separated from God. You were God's enemies in your minds, because the evil things you did were against God. But now Christ has made you God's friends again. Christ did this by his death while he was in his body. Christ did this so that he could bring you before God. He brings you before God as people who are holy, with no wrong in you, and with nothing that God can judge you guilty of. Christ will do this if you continue to believe in the Good News you heard. You must continue strong and sure in your faith. You must not be moved away from the hope that Good News gave you. That same Good News has been told to all people in the world. I, Paul, help in telling that Good News.