I’m always fascinated when I discover new things about stories in the Bible. I never realized how closely things correlated with the Old Testament and Jesus’ birth. For instance, King Herod killing the two-year-old males is similar to the Pharaoh’s killing of babies in Exodus. There are more, but we won’t go into those right now.
Today, I’d like to discuss an adulterer as told in the book of John. Jesus was teaching His followers about God when a group of Pharisees tossed a woman at His feet. They didn’t really care about this woman’s crime. In John 8:6, it states, They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger.
Several things come to mind with this story. The first is that it’s rather hard to commit adultery alone, yet she was the only one brought to Jesus. Where was the man? This is proof they didn’t care whether she had committed adultery but only wanted to trap Jesus because if he’d said not to stone her, he’d be breaking Jewish law.
Another thing that I find interesting is John 8:7 when Jesus said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” The woman’s accusers slipped away one at a time, starting with the older men. Why did the older men leave first? Could it be they had more sins than the younger men? Or maybe they didn’t allow a mob mentality to influence them.
To those who rejected Him, righteousness would one day appear as a terrible justice; to the sinful men who accepted Him and allied themselves to His life, righteousness would show itself as mercy. – Fulton J. Sheen, American Archbishop
Finally, what was Jesus drawing on the ground? Twice He wrote in the dust. No one knows for sure what was written, but in Jewish law, it was customary for the priest to write the sin and sinners names in the dust of the temple floor. It has been speculated that not only did Jesus write the woman’s name and her sin, but the man’s name as well. This would have admonished the Pharisees because they were not following Moses law by bringing the man forward.
A lot of times, we’re like the Pharisees. We point at others for their sins while ignoring our own. We need to look at the man in the mirror first. The more we accuse others, the higher the chance the finger pointing will one day turn our way, and our sins will become public knowledge. And I’m sure you don’t want to come off like a hypocrite in anyone’s eyes, especially God’s.
If you are in need of prayer, please let me know. I’ll be more than happy to pray for you.
Perhaps you will be interested in my re-imagining of this story.