This is our thirty-fourth study. Please click HERE for an introduction to this study.
3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
The Pharisees knew that Jesus was merciful to such women, and so they tried to trap Him into doing something contrary to the law. But Jesus turned the tables on them. He appealed to their conscience, to their own sin. He got them to look at their own sin. Suddenly, they had no interest in condemning her.
Jesus here by taking away her witnesses automatically frees her from the law (since the law says that in order to condemn someone there must be at least two witnesses). He forgives her and sets her on a new life without sin.