This morning, as
I prepared a message on the section of scripture in John 8 describing the woman
caught in adultery, I was struck by something.
As the Pharisees brought the woman and put her in front of Jesus they
wanted to stone her to death for her sin.
What struck me was the part of the story that reads, “When the accusers
heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only
Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.” It wasn’t Jesus
alone with the woman – it was Jesus and the woman together in the midst of the
crowd after the religious accusers had left.
The crowd was now waiting to see what Jesus would do with this woman and
Jesus gave us a
profound picture of how the Church should live in the crowd of culture. If anyone ever wanted to know the difference
between an Old and New Testament prophet this is a prime example. There will
always be haters and judgment-casters in our midst who forget that we live in a
New Covenant. This new way was not our
idea, but God’s. Jesus said He did not
come to judge the world, but to save it.
He confronted the hypocrisy of the religious establishment of his day
and they departed. What was left was an
audience of seekers hungry to know the loving God that stood before them.
The most profound
sound the guilty and an inquiring culture will ever hear is the thud made by
rocks of judgment falling from our hands and hitting the ground whenever truth
is spoken in love. The only time we should pick up rocks is to build a memorial
to God’s goodness. The rest of the time rocks belong on the earth, not in our
Yes, Jesus did
tell her to go her way and sin no more.