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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

Jesus and the Woman Accused

Judges 4:4 NIV

Matthew 1:5 NASB

Proverbs 31:17 NKJV

John 8:1-11 ESV

Deuteronomy 22:22 ESV

Romans 3:23 ESV

A Story of Love Series

Women in the 1st Century were not well thought of…

It seems to me that something happened during the 400 year period after the last prophet died and Jesus came because in the Old Testament women were considered to be special.

Deborah was a Judge. We read in Judges 4:4, “Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time.”

Ruth played an integral part in the lineage of Christ. We learn from Matthew 1:5, “Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab, Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth, and Obed fathered Jesse. Jesse fathered David the king.”

In Proverbs 31:17, King Solomon describes a Godly woman as one who, “girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms.”

But, something caused a cultural shift where women were concerned.

At the time Jesus came we learn, “women are both demeaned and disregarded” ( The woman Jesus met at the well was especially demeaned and disregarded because she was a Samaritan woman.

Fortunately, there was a new King in town and things were about to change.

In John 8:1-11 we learn, “Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

In John 8:4 we learn that the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus who had been caught in adultery. The men who accused her knew that by bringing a promiscuous woman to Jesus they could test His knowledge of and adherence to the Law of Moses. According to Deuteronomy 22:22, “If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel.”

The problem we are faced with is that we do not know the circumstances of the situation. A man was not brought before Jesus…only a woman was presented for trial. So was the woman considered promiscuous? We do not know.

However we can surmise that the scribes and Pharisees were trying to test Jesus to see if He would adhere to the Law of Moses (verse 5).

The problem they faced is that Jesus knew what they were doing.

It’s interesting to note that the scribes and Pharisees did not find a man and a woman caught in adultery. More than likely, when they brought a woman before Jesus, especially a promiscuous woman they knew they wouldn’t be criticized for shaming a man. Their goal was to make Jesus look bad for not adhering to the Law of Moses.

In verse 6 Jesus bent down and wrote something in the sand. We do not know what he wrote, or why there was a break in the conversation, but when a minute or two had gone by Jesus spoke.

We don’t know for sure, but in communication allowing time for silence is one way of putting emphasis on the punchline. It seems that the scribes and Pharisees continued to goad Jesus for an answer because verse 7 tells us they continued to ask Him. They were badgering Him for an answer. In verse 7b Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Then, in verse 8 we are told that Jesus bent down again and continued to write on the ground.

One by one the scribes and Pharisees walked away. Notice the older men left first. In verse 10 Jesus looked at the woman and asked her where they went. More to the point, who condemned you?

In verse 11 the woman answered, no-one.

Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

I vaguely remember the first time I read that scripture. I would have been pretty young so it probably would have been around 50-55 years ago. I remember thinking, ‘Oh my, that’s genius.’

Romans 3:23 tells us “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

The truth is that Jesus was the only one there who had not sinned and He chose to forgive her.

We do not know who the woman was. She was unnamed. Some scholars believe she was Mary Magdalene who became Jesus’ greatest female follower.

Whoever the woman was, I’m certain she was forever changed the day she came before Jesus because Jesus loved her.

She was forever changed by His great love.

Today’s Spiritual Practice: Forgive Yourself

After talking to a whole lot of people in my life I came to the conclusion that nearly everyone has more trouble forgiving the ‘ME’ within. Today, forgive yourself. After all, Jesus has already forgiven you.

In God, Deborah in God’s Love


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