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In the Word

    by Chuck Livermore

An Adulteress Faces the Light of the World
Date Posted: February 10, 2009

And everyone went to his own house.

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?" 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.

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." And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 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. 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?"

She said, "No one, Lord."

And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." John 7:53-8:12 NKJV

We see in this passage a woman condemned because of sin. There is no indication that the accusations are false. Jesus does not excuse, condone, or justify her sin. She, like all of us, stands before God guilty as charged.

But unlike her accusers, Jesus doesn’t quickly seek retribution. He has a greater claim of injury than any of the Pharisees. By the standard He sets, His stone should be the first to fly. But as a father forgives a child, Jesus turns the stones into the Bread of Life. He simply bids her “Go,” but cautions “and sin no more.”

We also are shown compassion when we deserve death. We have been caught “red-handed” by God. There is no use to fane innocence. We await our punishment. Jesus also says to us, “Go” and cautions “sin no more.” His compassion for sinners is unfathomable. We receive grace instead of death.

If we are to be like Him, we would do well to remember this story when we are wronged, mistreated, or ridiculed. Instead of seeking vengeance, drop your stone and walk away.

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Biography Information:
Chuck Livermore's knowledge of the word is the result of a lifetime of study and reading. He is part of Galilee South Community Church, a multi-ethnic congregation in South Denver. He attended Wayland Baptist University and has participated in world evangelism through research of unreached peoples.
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