A CASE OF SPIRITUAL PROSECUTION
John 8:3-11 records the Scribes
and Pharisees bringing unto Jesus a woman caught in adultery. According to the
law of Moses she should be stoned to death. But they asked Jesus what they
should do with her with intent to trap Him little realizing that they were also
sinners themselves. They were pricked by their conscience when Jesus said, “He
that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
They caught a woman committing
adultery. Under the law of Moses, she should be stoned to death (Deut
22:20-24). Since there was a law to punish such an accused why did they not
apply it? Why should they ask Jesus to judge the case? Jesus was neither their
ruler nor a member of the Sanhedrin. Their evil intention was to present a
dilemma to Jesus. If the Lord were to forgive the woman then lie would be
breaking the law of Moses. On the other hand, if the Lord were to follow the
law by condemning the woman then He would not be acting according to the gospel
lie was preaching. Further he would also be breaching the law of the Romans.
However the trickery of the Scribes and Pharisees could not fool Jesus. Instead
the words of Jesus, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a
stone at her,” were as sharp as a knife. They were cut in their hearts and
realized that they too were sinners. God is faithful and just. If we confess
our sins He will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The adulterous woman was totally
passive. She lost her freedom and was strickened with
guilt. Brought before the Lord, she waited for her death sentence. Fear and
shame overtook her. She was no longer able to lift her head. According to the
law of Moses she should be stoned to death but God was gracious to her. When
her accusers had left her one after another, she remained standing there to be
judged by the Lord Jesus. When the Lord lifted up lifted up Himself and saw no
one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath
no man condemned thee?” She replied, “No man, Lord.” She was troubled in her
heart, remorseful and silent. She did not argue with her accusers. She only
answered the question the Lord asked and repented before the Lord.
“For whosoever shall call upon the
name of the Lord shall be saved.” So this woman was forgiven of her sin. In
this wicked world today the evil one will not spare a moment to accuse us. The
devil is like a roaring lion prowling about seeking someone to devour.
Therefore we must be steadfast for the blood of the Lamb has cleansed us of our
sins. We are no longer of the world but children of God. We should sin no more
just as the Lord told the woman.
When Jesus heard the accusation He
stooped down and with His fingers wrote on the ground as though lie had heard
nothing. When pressed, the Lord replied, “He that is without sin among you, let
him first cast a stone at her” (Jn 8:7). They could not find fault with this
answer. Their evil plan failed.
In Deuteronomy 17:7 it is
recorded, “The hands of the witnesses shall he first upon him to put him to
death, and afterward the hands of all the people.” Stephen died a martyr in
this manner. The law of Moses required several
witnesses to prove a crime beyond doubt. However the Lord Jesus requested the
witnesses themselves to be absolutely sinless. Jesus intended to point out the
hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees who were harsh on others but lenient to
The final judgment pronounced by
the Lord was “Neither do I condemn thee” (Jn 8:11). God did not send His Son
into the world to judge the world On 3:17). Jesus alone is sinless,
lie alone has authority to forgive sins (Mt 9:6). When Jesus said, “Co, and sin
no more”, we see His mercy. Any sinner who turns to him must sin no more.