Where was the man?! I mean ‘it takes two to tango’, and yet these “religious leaders” have already decided, he was not from God. They were stunned when the temple guards came back without him, saying, “No one ever spoke the way this man does” John 7:46. Their prejudice and jealousy was obvious, not interested in truth, or the One who brought it. They had to trap him, but he had somehow escaped all the other traps. This time they would put him in a position where he had either to inflame the Roman authorities or break the Law of Moses, and somehow loose the popularity he had gathered.
Scriptures do not record how they got this done, but perhaps they schemed with a man who knew of a woman who was unfaithful. To get her in the situation where they would come and catch her committing adultery. Who knows, but John 8:1-11 deals with this woman who is “caught in adultery”. They bring her (not the man) to trap Jesus. They knew the Law commanded that both were to be put to death, Leviticus 20:10, but they were not interested in that. They bring her to Jesus, and you can just see them all forming a cirle around the woman, and the confrontation with Jesus. “In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” John 8:5
Jesus bends down and begins writing in the ground with his finger. They kept on questioning him, (thinking they had him trapped), and he stood and asked them this question. “IF ANY OF YOU IS WITHOUT SIN, LET HIM BE THE FIRST TO THROW A STONE AT HER” John 8:7. He bends down and continues writing in the ground, and while he does this, one by one the ones who brought her leave. “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you” Jesus said. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:10-11.
Is Jesus saying he was a sinner and that he could not have condemned her? Of course not. He knew what these religious leaders were trying to do. He knew their hearts and the heart of the woman. He does not condemn her which does not mean He condones adultery or any sin.
Where do we go from here, the grace of God. Adultery, Jesus said, takes place in the heart of everyone who lusts after someone, Matthew 5:27-30. It takes place in the heart… Often we are more harsh on this than we are on other sins, but Jesus is not. He explains the Law on subjects like, murder, adultery, divorce, oaths, and vengeance in Matthew 5. Obviously God hates this and all sins, each having consequences, some being impossible to ‘un-do’ (like trying to unscramble an egg).
Where does grace enter the picture? Well, grace is the picture when considering man’s sin, and the sacrifice of Jesus. This is why Jesus came, to provide the way of salvation where the life of sin can be put away. This is why you read in I Corinthians 6:9-11 “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” At first glance, you see that SLANDER is as bad as ADULTERY in the sence that both will keep one from inheriting the kingdom of God. The blood of Christ cleansed all these things and more. Obviously, when you start to pick up a stone and throw it, consider your own situation.
Can these things be forgiven? Yes. What about Christians who sin? They are forgiven as well, by the same blood. Forgiveness is not just for the past. This does not condone abuse of grace, because that is getting close to falling away from Christ and being lost altogether. Grace simply means we receive something we don’t deserve, forgiveness. We don’t deserve it because we sin… before and after we come to Christ.
In John 8 the leaders brought this woman to trap Jesus, but truth be told, they were as trapped as the woman was, they just refused to accept it. So are we, without Jesus. The outstanding feature of Jesus here and always, is His love for fallen man. His compassion, and concern. Jesus bent down and wrote on the ground and stood up and asked, “Where are your accusers?” According to Paul, there aren’t any, Romans 8:31-37. Praise god for His wonderful, great grace.