John 8:2 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.
Many people know the story of the woman caught in adultery. This story is a wonderful example of the grace of Jesus Christ. It shows us the willingness of how we can be so eager to throw stones with ill intentions. It also shows the ignorance of those who use the law for their own benefit. In this case, a group of scribes and Pharisees who were the examples of the Law of Moses so perverted the law to benefit their own twisted agenda. They have the audacity to come before Jesus expecting to trap Him. The reason they failed was not that this woman was an adulterer, the reason they fail is that they perverted the law.
Jesus was not blind to the Law of Moses knowing that adultery always involved a man and a woman. Where was the man of this adultery in these passages? According to the Law of Moses, both the man and woman were to be stoned. These religious men made a mockery of the law. Jesus fulfilled the law, and what He wrote in the sand made these men see no reason to condemn this woman for her sin. We have no idea what Jesus wrote in the sand, we just know that what ever it was corresponded with Him saying, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
This story also shows us that none of us is without sin and that we have no right to throw stones and condemn others. That is Jesus’ right. . However, at no time are we to approve of sin in our own lives and the lives of others. What it also shows is that Jesus sets the example of why we must forgive and when we must forgive. He also showed us that when there is repentance, we must forgive as He forgave us.
Forgiveness for this woman came with knowledge that she was most definitely guilty of the sin of adultery and that she knew her penalty of this sin was death. What she came to know from Jesus is the mercy he extended to her, and that she must never sin again. Jesus never condemns her sin because she knew she was guilty. However, Jesus extends this mercy on a condition that she goes and sin no more.
Many forget the significance to the end of the story. What would be our response if Jesus said,
“Neither do I condemn thee: continue to remain in your adultery.”
We would wonder the purpose of this story if Jesus let her remain in her sin. We must never read this story and think that this woman was not a sinner. She was an adulterer. She did sin.
What is important is whether she understood that she was a sinner or not, and not that she was a sinner who could continue in sin.
What also plays significance is that her accusers cared little for her sin because their intentions were to expose Jesus. What we should all do is see this story as a remedy to sin. It is a conscious effort to believe by faith that Jesus Christ forgives and forgets our sins when we repent of our sins. His command to us is this. “I forgive your sins when you admit your sins, now go and sin no more.”
Now that we know that repentance is important in the reconciliation to God through faith in Jesus Christ. I would like to make this story personal as an example.
Let us say that this woman caught in adultery was a woman who committed adultery with YOUR husband. Would you forgive her? On the other hand, would you use your rock for revenge? If she admitted adultery with your husband and admitted this as sin, would you forgive her? Your husband too admits this adultery and seeks forgiveness from you? What is your response?
The point of this is to see if we have really dropped the rocks from our hands. Once the story becomes personal, the decision becomes harder. Yet, Jesus still writes in the sand as He looks at you. If we set the standards of forgiveness and judgment, we still clutch the rock. We may also have redefined the law of marriage. The law of marriage is binding until death. We have not shown compassion by forgiving like Jesus.
Now that we have made it personal, let us change the story a bit. Your husband comes to Jesus testing Him by saying; “This woman committed adultery against me. Moses said that we might divorce our wives if we find them to be unclean. What say you?” If we study the scriptures, we see that Jesus addresses this very thing in Matthew 19:3-12 and Mark 10:2-12. If we look at the intention of this, we see that a husband has already perverted the law. Thus, divorce would be the actions of those who grip stones. The wife who realizes her sin of adultery, and repents of her sin of adultery must be forgiven. Jesus would say to her…Go and sin no more.
Jesus says this about those who divorce and remarry. Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery. (Luke 16:18)
If a man fails to repent of his adultery and then divorces his wife to marry his mistress, is he married to his mistress? In addition, if a woman divorced by her husband remarries another man, is she really married? The answer is “no” in both instances.
The one who holds the rock in this story is the person who believes they need not stay in a one-flesh marriage covenant they vowed to God. The moment we pick up a rock and demand justice is the moment we had better not tempt the word of God.
We need to answer some very serious questions when we read the story of the woman caught in adultery as this pertains to divorce and remarriage. Many are quick to use this story to validate their remarriage after divorce. They will say that God blesses their remarriage. However, once you ask this same person why they could not forgive in their first marriage, they use this story as the example.
“Those without sin cast the first stone”.
They justify their remarriage by saying… “Jesus forgave the adulterous woman, and Jesus forgives my remarriage.”
Jesus makes it clear that forgiveness of sin comes when there is repentance of sin. He also makes it clear that we must not cast stones with ill intentions. If our intentions are devoid of the Gospel, then the rocks remain in our hands as we create our own laws. This is true of a spouse who initiates divorce. Those who seek divorce believe that repentance and forgiveness are not options and that Jesus does not have the power to write into the consciences of the heart. Those who divorce have a different law of marriage that is not binding. They become covenant breakers.
Many people know the story of the woman caught in adultery. This story is a wonderful example of the grace of Jesus Christ. It shows us the willingness of how we can be so eager to throw stones with ill intentions. It also shows the ignorance of those who use divorce and remarriage for their own benefit. In this case, a group of religious people who were to be examples of God’s law of marriage so perverted the law to benefit their own twisted agenda. They have the audacity to come before Jesus expecting to trap Him. The reason they failed was not that their spouse was without sin, the reason they fail is that they perverted the law of marriage to initiate a divorce.
When you look at this story think of the mercy Jesus has for us. While we were yet sinners, the Lord Jesus Christ died for us. If your spouse divorced you and remarried someone else, they are those who have rocks in their hands and have not let those rocks go. You need to write in the sand so that they may see the truth of God’s word as it pertains to marriage, divorce and remarriage. Therefore, that one day, they drop the rock and realize that they are the ones who will be forgiven if they, go, and sin no more.
If YOU divorced and remarried, you picked up rocks and you never dropped them. Jesus says that those who initiate divorce have hard hearts. Those who remarry after divorce are in adultery, not a marriage. You have not only kept the rock, you ignore the writings in the sand. Repentance means leaving your adultery and to remain in adultery no more. My message to you is drop the rock, repent of your sin and run to Jesus Christ.
In Christ’s love,