Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Woman Taken in Adultery

This really is a gem of a story.

 1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

 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. (John 8)

The Pharisees were trying to entrap Jesus (as they are wont to do). They knew he was preaching mercy, and figured that he would forgive the woman thus violating the law of Moses, which required that a woman with sufficient witnesses to convict her of adultery needed to be stoned to death. Instead of doing that, Jesus invited any who were without sin to throw the first stone. Obviously, no man could do that. They left, and Jesus, not being an eye witness, was left without any proof that the accusation was true (though obviously he knew it was, being Jesus). Thus, he was able to forgive the woman without violating the law of Moses.

Sometimes Jesus flagrantly broke the law of the Jews. Sometimes (like on this occasion), he went through great lengths to keep it. Why the distinction? The law of the Jews came from two sources. That portion that came from God through Moses, Jesus kept with exactness. That portion that came from the additions, modifications, and removals of the leaders he openly broke and publicly contradicted.

To learn more about the fascinating doctrine of the Pharisees, watch this video. It is excellent!