All is fair in love and law – Day 11
The Woman Caught in Adultery Jesus the Light of the World
1. While Jesus was teaching those who gathered around him in the temple precincts, some Pharisees and Scribes brought to him a woman “caught in the act of adultery”. Appealing to the Law of Moses that requires that she be stoned, they ask Jesus to judge her case. But Jesus bends down to write on the ground with his finger. When they continue to press him for an answer (8:7), Jesus stands up and addresses the Pharisees and Scribes. “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (8:7).
Jesus did not argue against the law commanded by Moses but his response to the group of men pointed to the blind spot in their own vulnerability and guilt. This reminds us that the defenders of the law are not always the keepers of the law.
(a) Can you imagine the scene of this crime? One person caught in the act of adultery!
(b) Do you see a connection between the men’s reference to the Law of Moses and
Jesus’ act of writing?
(c) Do you wonder what Jesus was writing on the ground? What do you think it might have been, or whom it might have been about?
(d) What do you notice about Jesus’ posture? Have you had an experience where body language speaks louder than words?
(e) What new insights have emerged for you from engagement with this text?
2. Often the focus of John 8 is on the Pharisees as the ‘bad boys’ because they were using the question [about the law] to trap Jesus (8:6). The fact that the men were using the woman for their own devious purpose is seldom recognised. Is our blind spot perhaps because we condemn the woman based on Jesus’ last words to her?