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Woman Caught in Adultery

This woman's experience is recorded in the Bible in John chapter 8, verses 1-13.

1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. You may wonder why Jesus did not condemn this woman to be stoned. After all, he was God in human form and also the only man who had never sinned. If anyone was in a position to "caste a stone" it was Jesus. So was this a way of saying that she was not guilty of adultery. No, she was caught in the act and Jesus did not debate this with the woman's accusers. Neither did the woman deny it. Besides, when Jesus said, "sin no more" it was clear beyond any doubt that he considered her actions sinful.

So why did Jesus NOT condemn her?

The answer is that while the woman was condemned as all humanity is for sin (Romans 3:23 and 6:23; see also John 3:18 and 36), Jesus had no human authority to order her death by stoning. The hypicritical religious leaders of the day were trying to "set him up". But the tables were turned. Instead, Jesus took the opportunity to help the woman's accusers to see their own guilt and their own need of God's forgiveness.

As a result we read in verse 9, "And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone..."

You too have had the opportunity to see your own guilt through the Good Person Test which shows you your true self through the light of God's moral law. Yet, God is wanting to forgive you like Jesus forgave the woman.

This woman did not plead for forgiveness so how do we know she was truly repentant?

The answer basically is in her silence. When Jesus asked her if anyone was left to condemn her, all she said was , "No man, Lord". She did not add, but they were just out to get me or I'm not that bad a person once you get to know me or you should see how so and so lives or I don't deserve to be condemned. She made no excuse for her sin.

It would have been easy since her accusers had just walked off with "guilty" written all over their faces. The thing is that guilty people, especially those who KNOW they are guilty, often have nothing to say. In fact, the Bible says that the whole purpose of God's moral law (the 10 commandments) is "that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may become guilty before God (Romans 3:19)." It helps us see ourselves in truth so we may humble ourselves and turn to the Saviour to be saved.

Jesus also knew her heart as he knows yours. He knew she was repentant, and he will know if at this moment you are truly repentant. His words to her are the same for you, "sin no more".

If you humble your self like this woman God will forgive you. God does not ask you to make vain promises that you will sin no more but he does command you to sin no more.

And if you humble yourself before God, admitting your great sin and turn to him for salvation, he will help you by the Holy Spirit to grow into the person he created you to be.  

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