Heart of Jesus – Woman Caught in Adultery (John 8)

Bible gives glimpses of how Jesus handled the sins and sinners differently. He hated the sin but loved the sinners. He was always ready to forgive the sinners. His heart was always longing for those who needed him most.

Jesus spent an exhaustive day in Jerusalem during the Festival of Tabernacle. He had to handle questions fired at him on His very identity. When everybody had gone home, Jesus chose to go to Mount Olive to spend the night. Mount Olive was Jesus’s favorite spot for prayer. He was arrested while praying in the same mountain. He also chose this mountain for his ascension to heaven.

His heart was always longing for an opportunity to interact with people. Early in the morning, he went to temple court. When the people saw Him, they gathered around him. The Pharisees used the opportunity to test him. They brought a woman before Him. She was caught in adultery. Pharisees saw the crowd. They knew how to use the crowd to test Jesus and put him in trouble. Deuteronomy 32:13-30 gives clauses when a woman can be stoned to death. If a woman is already married or betrothed and if she commits adultery with another man, then both should be stoned to death as per the Jewish law. The Pharisees brought only the woman. That means they allowed the man to escape. Pharisees did not declare whether the woman was married or betrothed.

The situation was a double-edged sword. If Jesus allowed the Pharisees to stone the woman to death then He would be breaking the Roman law. Only the Roman prefect has the right to pass the death sentence. Pontius Pilate was the Roman prefect during that time. For this same reason, high priests took Jesus to Pontius Pilate to seek his permission to crucify Jesus. On the other hand, If Jesus tried to free the woman then the Pharisees would claim Jesus was disobeying the law of Moses.

Jesus bent down and kept writing with His finger while the Pharisees kept on asking for a verdict. They were confident Jesus had to make one of the two choices (stone the woman or free her). Finally, Jesus lifted his head. He asked anyone who had not committed sin to throw the first stone. There was a powerful conviction in everyone’s heart. Those who wanted to condemn the woman were condemned by their own sins. Finally, everyone left except Jesus.

Jesus is the only person who is sinless and hence he is the only eligible person who can condemn the woman. But he chose to forgive her. That’s the heart of Jesus. He hated the sin. But he always loved the sinners. Independent of who you are and what you have done in the past, Jesus can forgive and forget your darkest past. Why don’t you believe in him, confess your sins and seek forgiveness right now? He loves you.

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