God Gives a Gal a Break
I can just close my eyes and envision the entire episode so easily.
Jesus was teaching in the temple, when some fuming Pharisees hurried up to Him…Pharisees with petty vengeance in their petty hearts! They were dragging with them an adulteress—apprehended in the very act! Funny, but they weren’t hauling in the hooligan she’d been doing it with. They only wanted the woman to pay; that’s how worthless women were to the Pharisees in those days.
This beautiful woman must’ve been clenching a cover around herself. She stood there bedraggled before the blessed LORD. Some of her accusers were leering at her yet lusting for justice just the same. Hypocrites! And oh, how that pitiful woman must have been worried to death that these men wanted to murder her for one simple mistake. A huge mistake, yes; but a simple mistake, to be sure. Yes, she was married, and yes, she had made a mistake. For all we know, maybe her husband hadn’t been paying her attention or being as loving and praising as he should have been. God only knows.
And so, maybe she’d fallen hard for a handsome homeboy because such a sin felt thrilling…as sin always seems to. And now, as God’s Word stated, she must pay the penalty for the crime she had committed against her Creator. Everyone was gawking at her, greedy to see her stoned for her indiscretion…yes, greedy to see her soul snuffed out completely. I can see her. She’s trembling. She chokes back some tears…but they trail down her cheeks, anyway. How humiliating! How humbling! How horrific! These men want me dead, she must be thinking, just for aching for some affection. Some adoration. An ounce of adoration my husband won’t give me anymore. Again, only God knows…
So, they said to Him: “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery—in the very act! Now Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and scrawled something in the sand with His finger, as though He did not hear (John 8:4-6). Maybe He’d been writing about how God sought mercy and not sacrifice, for all we know.
But those Pharisees were persistent, insistent, and resistant. They wanted her blood. They wanted to stone her. They wanted to be “religious,” not the kind of “righteous” people who would put up with anyone like that adulteress they were accusing. So, Jesus said, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first” (v. 7).
And one by one, the stones in their clenched fists fell to the floor, beginning with the eldest and finishing with the youngest; for all of them knew they, too, were sinners. Then the LORD stopped his scrawling and stood up to face this poor child. I can almost picture the creases of compassion on His careworn face. I can see Him gazing intently into her astonished eyes, seeing nothing but awe and gratitude. This woman had come face to face with the Almighty and had lived to tell about it.
How He loved her. He said, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you” (v. 10)?
She said, “No one, LORD” (v.11).
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more” (v.11).
And that poor, pathetic, and perplexed woman, overwhelmed and over the top, surely must have peered into God’s pitying eyes, knowing she was loved by the LORD Himself. Truly loved. Just think of it! How her heart had to have beat like a trip-hammer because Almighty God, the ultimate Judge, had just absolved her of her sin. Yes, God Himself had delivered her from the deathblow the Pharisees had longed in their hardened hearts to deal her. But that just wasn’t in the cards this day.
This gracious God didn’t want an eye for an eye; He wanted only to forgive and to let live. I can just picture the clouds parting on that dreary, dark day…that day the Sonlight in all His glory came shining through; for God’s Son Himself had just snatched a sinner from the hands of hell.
That’s the Jesus I worship. That’s the Jesus I adore. That’s the Jesus I lift my hands to and pray in His precious, holy name. Jesus, the God of all justice, hadn’t condemned that poor woman at all. Instead, He had acquitted her and had given her a new lease on life—literally! All Scriptural references taken from the NKJV Bible, 1985.