Summary: What do you do when you are faced with a difficult decision? (work, home, family, friends, ethical, non ethical) What do you do when there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer?
Caught in the Act
Chapter summary. Jesus is teaching again in the temple courts when the religious leaders drag in a woman caught in the act of adultery and challenge Him to sentence her. He avoids their trap by calling on “any one of you” who is without sin to cast the first stone—and one by one they leave (8:1–11).
What do you do when you are faced with a difficult decision? (work, home, family, friends, ethical, non ethical) What do you do when there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer?
Here Jesus is having to make a very difficult decision.
• 1st They were trying to Set Him Up. (Pharisees & Religious scholars) (Teaching again)(lets put a stop to this)
• She was caught in the act. (She was embarrassed) (They led her in, she was on display)
• Teacher what do you say? (what’s your position on this)
• Deut. 22:22-24 (last line is You must purge the evil)
• Here they only bring the woman.
• Moses in the law says stone this woman, what do you say?
• Roman’s did not allow Jews to carry out death sentences
• If Jesus said stone her He would have been in conflict with the Romans. If He said not to stone her he would be guilty of not supporting of Old Testament law.
• They saw it as a win, win situation. They could finally bring charges against Jesus.
• 2nd This Sin could not be committed alone.(hard to commit adultery by yourself)
• For this particular offense there would normally be no witnesses, since its nature would demand privacy. 1 Either the witnesses became such by accident, which would be unusual; or 2 they were present purposely to create the trap for Jesus, in which case they themselves were guilty; or 3 they condoned the deed, and this would make them partners in it.
• Since Jewish law required the witnesses in any case of capital punishment to begin the stoning, each one of the accusers would either have to admit that he was guilty or else refrain from demanding the woman’s death.
Jesus here takes time to think.
• He writes in the dirt without answering them immediately. This is the only occasion on record that refers to his writing.
• Wonder what He Wrote?
• Some speculate that it was a comparison to God’s finger writing on the tablets of stone with the Ten Commandments.
Others say that He was secretly writing the sins of the people that had brought the woman to Him.
But let those who have never sinned throw the first Stone!
• When his questioners kept pressing him for an answer, Jesus replied by putting the dilemma back on them.
• Jesus is still in the temple surrounded by swarms of people, watching, waiting to see how He will deal with this. (many of them would be glad that they weren’t facing this kind of decision..
Slipped away beginning with the oldest (The wisest)
• Jesus stops the entire ordeal with one sentence “The sinless one among you go first.”
• With this the accusers "began to go away one at a time, the older ones first." The older ones either had more sins for which they were answerable or else had more sense than to make an impossible profession of righteousness.