Understanding my part

Jeff Weinkauf


John 8:1-11

1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”


There she stood, caught, shamed. There they stood, pretending to be clean.

The wrongness of her choices was not in question, according to mosaic law she deserved death. However, the question I have when I read this is how did they happen to catch her, and where is the guy she was with? I could speculate about how they knew where to find her, and if how they knew was because some had been there before. BUT the scriptures are silent on this.

Whatever the back story is, she was being used to make a point. Their motive was one dimensional and really had nothing much to do with her sin. They were mainly looking for a way to neutralize Jesus.

Jesus however turns it around and uses the moment to teach them and to redeem her.


Application wise, I think at times we relish the chance to chasten the fallen. We seem to get confused that "only there but by the grace of God go I". We pretend to be cleaner than we are.

God's Grace certainly makes us clean, but we shouldn't forget that the grace we live in is entirely unmerited. We didn't get it because we are good, we got it because Jesus is. Sometimes we forget though and try to take on the role of enforcer. Jesus reminds them of their own position in relation to God's Holiness, and they seem to get that (old guys first). So if not judgement, then what is our role. I would argue it's to be agents of God's redemption. We're his point of contact to share the Gospel, trading beauty for ashes. That's not a passive role. It's not a kind of tacit approval of evil. Look at Jesus model for us at the end of the story. After NOT condemning her he instructs her "leave your life of sin". You're fresh and new, no go and don't do that anymore.


God help me to better understand how to live in the world as a representative of you. Help me to be discerning but not also take on the role of judge (as that is your job). Help me to correctly instruct and teach your people and those you are calling to be your people. Help me to understand my part and your part and not to confuse them. Amen.

Devotions for August 06

Habakkuk 1,2,3
John 8

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