The Woman taken in Adultery
Thoughts from sermon, March 11, 2012
It was a good thing to see Trevor speak this morning! Taking his text from John 8, he simply retold the story of the woman taken in adultery. I did appreciate his full acceptance of this Scripture, for there are some that reject it on the basis of its not being found in early manuscripts. I have always thought that an early copier deleted his copying of this portion of Scripture for moral reasons—that is that the copier found the passage to be scandalous. While I will never know for certain, I was agreeably pleased to find some of the commentators of John saying the same thing.
I have always wondered what it was that Jesus scribed so diligently in the dirt beneath His feet. Surely the context suggests that the woman brought in was scantily clad at best, and I have often thought Jesus’ scribing in the sand was to save the poor woman more embarrassment. Speaking as He did to the men bringing her in seems to me to be scarcely enough to convict them. “Let he who has no sin cast the first stone.” While those words may have dissuaded many a thinking man, the evidence around the whole circumstance seems to be that the Jews were trying to trap Jesus.
Trevor brought that out very well, explaining that for Jesus to follow either course of stoning the woman, or setting her free would have bad repercussions for Jesus. So He finds another way. I have always wondered (without a smidgen of proof) whether Jesus was not writing the fellow’s names down and under their names listing their secret sins. For example, He would write Joseph down, and then under his name He might have written “adultery”. Turning to Benjamin, He might have written “stealing” with the exact amount of money the man had stolen. I cannot imagine anything more convicting to those who would trap Jesus than to find that they themselves had been trapped. Just a thought, as I said there is not the least of proofs. But is it not a wonder that the savage wolves that were welling to feast on this woman’s life, suddenly lost their taste for blood? The idea of Jesus spelling out their sins does give me pause.
Here are other thoughts I wrote on this passage: Here and here: http://pillars2discuss.blogspot.com/2011/12/john-8-1-to-11.html