The Adulteress’ Story
We don’t know her name. All we know about her is that she was caught in adultery.
John 8:1 – But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. (Verse 2) But early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. (Verse 3) Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, (Verse 4) they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.
(Verse 5) “Now Moses, in the law commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do you say?” (Verse 6) This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger as though He did not hear them.
Notice: Jesus is “in” the temple. The ground in the temple is not dirt! It was stone. Nowhere does Scripture say they were outside. They brought this woman into the temple and sat her down in the midst of the crowd where Jesus was teaching and He wrote on that hard stone floor with His finger.
(Verse 7) So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” (Verse 8) And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. (Verse 9) Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
(Verse 10) When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” (Verse 11) She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
All kinds of speculation have been said and written about what Jesus may have written. But what if He wrote the men’s names that were present at the woman’s act? Or maybe even the man that she was with during the act. If we as believers could only learn what Jesus taught her when pointing a finger at a sinner:
Jesus isn’t condemning.
Sinners sin! It doesn’t shock Jesus when people sin. Isn’t it amazing that as believers, we are shocked when people sin? Jesus didn’t have that “holier than thou” attitude although He is the only person who ever lived that was actually “Holier than thou!” Jesus is not shocked at sinners sinning nor is He condemning.
John 3:17 – “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (Verse 18) “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Jesus did not come to condemn because until a person believes in the Son of God they are condemned already! There is no condemnation in those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1).
How can the Lord say there is now no condemnation for those in Christ? Because He has declared all believers not guilty! God declared His Son guilty for our sins so He, therefore, declares those who are in Christ not guilty. Jesus was condemned and executed for our sin. This is exactly what this woman that was brought before Jesus found out that day – Jesus did not condemn her.
Jesus isn’t compromising.
Jesus tells her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” Jesus wasn’t condemning or compromising. People today say, “We can’t be condemning, because we have to be tolerant in today’s culture.” Telling someone about their sin is not condemning if it is done with the right attitude and tone. Believe me, people know what area they are sinning in. But we cannot compromise with their sin or behavior. That’s what people want to do today, overlook their sin by not telling them they need to repent.
Matthew 11:19 – “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look a gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”
Hebrews 7:26 – For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.
In Matthew, He is a friend of sinners. In Hebrews, He is separate from sinners. How can He be both? Not condemning, He is a friend; not compromising, He is separate. If a person compromises when witnessing to an unbeliever, they have no platform with which to stand any longer.
Here is a good example of this in the book of Malachi. We see what it means to be straight forward without compromising principles. Malachi 2:16 – “For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence.”
It does not say that God hates divorced people. I think that’s why pastors shy away from this because about half of the people have experienced divorce. But it doesn’t say God hates the people, He hates the act of divorce. He doesn’t condemn the people nor compromise in His statement.
God hates divorce because it hurts people and He loves people. It covers your garment with violence. There’s violence in a divorce situation. Not always physical but anger, hurtful words, and conflict! Look at how many people are involved that are affected by one divorce. Pastors just won’t bring up divorce in their sermons anymore because over half the congregation has been divorced and they don’t want to offend anyone so they compromise the message!
As Christians, we cannot compromise on the consequences of sin in our lives. There are no “little grey” areas with which we can tolerate and stay uncompromised. There will be consequences for our actions. Too many like to “straddle” the fence and think nothing will ever happen. The Bible is very clear about where sin will lead, but Jesus never condemned the person.
Jesus is compassionate.
Matthew 9:36 – But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them. When this woman that was caught in adultery that was brought to Him, the only emotion that Jesus felt for her was compassion! He wasn’t angry at her. He was moved with compassion. That’s why He did what He did. He won this woman over with His compassion and told her to go and sin no more. Shouldn’t we as believers be more like that when talking to the lost?
If a person is caught in sin, it is noticed by many or none. They should repent and sin no more. The point is not whether you get caught or not, it’s whether you change your mind about what you are doing. This woman got caught in adultery, but I believe because of Jesus’ compassion for her, her life was changed from that moment forward. She didn’t have to go away feeling worse than when she was brought to Him. And today, we don’t have to carry the weight of guilt over our past sins, Jesus already took that weight from us at the cross!
When Jesus came, He totally reversed an Old Testament principle: “If the clean touched the unclean it made the clean unclean.” Jesus reversed it by: “If the unclean was around and touched the clean it made the unclean clean!” People need to realize though if they are not strong in their convictions they can’t hang out with sinners to win them over because they might compromise and lose their witness. The witnesses testimony has to be strong enough that the lost person they are speaking to knows they live what they believe.
Do you have any idea how many people would love to meet and talk to a true Christian that wasn’t condemning and judgmental and just showed compassion? When we say, “I follow Jesus,” just make sure you are following the right Jesus!