Summary: A look at the woman caught in Adultery and how it applies to our lives
Her mind refused to accept what had happening. It had to be a nightmare, it couldn’t be reality. She squeezed her eyes shut knowing that when she opened them everything would be all right and she’d wake up from this horrible dream. On the count of three. One, two, three, she opened her eyes and blinked against the harsh Palestinian sun. The truth sunk in, she was still here, and they were still gathered around her, their eyes reflecting the scorn they felt for her. Her humiliation weighed heavy on her shoulder as she shrunk into herself.
Why had they brought her here, they knew the story, they had already passed judgment on her, why make it worse with public ridicule. Just get it over with, let it be done but do it quickly don’t drag out her suffering any longer.
Then she saw something that see hadn’t seen in a long time, compassion. It was in the eyes of the stranger that they brought her to for Judgment.
Maybe you know the story and maybe you don’t. Ruth read it this morning from the book of John Chapter 8 the first eleven verses. It’s pretty self explanatory, really all you have to do is read it to get a sense of what is happening.
A woman had been caught committing adultery, a sin that was considered a crime under Jewish law. As a matter of fact the Rabbis said "Every Jew must die before he will commit idolatry, murder or adultery." a view that obviously wasn’t shared by everyone. In particular a view that must not have been shared by this woman, at least not in practice.
You’ve either heard the story or you’ve heard the phrase "Cast the first stone" which is the central part of what happened that day. This morning we are going to look at the characters who made up the story.
1) The Accused Let’s start by clearing a couple of things up right away. First you ever get the impression that the woman here was a innocent spectator? You kind of get the idea that she was just standing on the side of the road and they grabbed her and dragged her to Jesus. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this message preached and I’ve always gone away feeling sorry for the woman. Hold it. The woman was an adulteress. The Bible says that she’d been caught in bed with a man who wasn’t her husband. Now I don’t know for sure what she was doing in bed with the man who wasn’t her husband but I’d be willing to bet they weren’t playing checkers. Now in 1998 Adultery may not seem all that serious, after all most of us probably know at least one adulterer or adulteress, but in Jesus day it was a pretty dangerous accusation.
The second impression that you get from hearing some of these sermons was that she was just caught in the act right then and dragged from the scene and thrown at the feet of Jesus sans clothing or as they’d say in Australia Starkers mate. Well the scripture does tell us that she had been caught in the actual act, but it doesn’t even imply that it had just happened. So we probably should presume, because we don’t know any different that the woman was fully clothed and her husband or her partners wife or whoever had caught them, had reported them to the powers that be and now action was being taken.