Caught in Adultery

And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. – John 8:3‭-‬4 KJV‬‬‬‬

Caught In Adultery 26072020

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Jesus Christ was again in the temple teaching when the Pharisees and the scribes brought a woman to him. According to them, she was caught in the very act of adultery. They had to emphasise it so that Jesus will know that it was not a question of speculation but they had witnesses to prove their case. They reminded Jesus Christ of the prescribed punishment for adulterers by Moses. Adulterers were to be stoned to death, and so they wanted to know the view of Jesus on the presented case. The bible however revealed their insincerity by adding that their question was a temptation so they will have something to accuse him of – Jn. 8:6.

This latter bit of information became more interesting because it seemed the Pharisees and scribes knew something that was not revealed, after all they quoted the scriptures rightly (Ex. 20:14; Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22) so where was the temptation intention? Yes! They wanted to find out if he would justify the act of Adultery so they could accuse him of contravening the laws given to Moses by God. The response of Jesus Christ however, threw them of balance. He had challenged anyone of them who was free of sin to commence the process of applying the judgement and since none could accept the challenge he set the woman free based on the fact that the accusers were themselves not free from sin. As far as Jesus Christ was concerned, the guilty could not stand as an accuser or witness against another person, either guilty or not – Rom. 2:22; Jms. 2:11.

One needs to commend the honesty of those accusers because amongst Christians of today, many would have still gone ahead to throw the stone, if only to be able to prove to onlookers that they are saints, forgetting that the scriptures says that he who covers his sin will not prosper – Prov. 28:13.

Does this mean that Jesus Christ condoned the act of adultery? Definitely not! He just needed to emphasise the role of forgiveness and restoration in this new law that he was championing. The woman probably earned that forgiveness, because amidst all those accusers she did not try to defend the indefensible. She had accepted her guilt, awaiting the implementation of judgement but was to receive forgiveness and a strong rebuke to ensure that she did not involve in such act again – Jn. 8:11.

Just as adultery can be committed against God (Ez. 23:37), although Christians talk less about that today, it is also committed against fellow men. So why would Jesus Christ on the basis of the fact that other people sinned , decide to pronounce the woman as not guilty? The Bible did not reveal this but there are possible scenarios which may have earned her forgiveness.

1. Jesus Christ in the book of Matthew, chapter 5, verse 32 says whoever puts off his wife for the any reason other than fornication have caused her to commit adultery. So was this a case of the woman being deprived because her husband abandoned her for a reason different from fornication or adultery? If that was the case, why was the man not brought along for judgement or as the chief complainant? Could her being led into sin by that situation, be the intention of the question when Jesus asked them that question on which one of them will be free if faced with same situation? The woman probably received compassion from the Lord due to unfair separation from the husband which eventually led her into the sin she was being accused of, because Jesus will never support a wrong act simply because there are others too who have committed such.
2. Jesus again in the book of Luke, chapter 16, verse 18 says whoever puts away his wife because he has married another wife has exposed the woman to the temptation of the act of adultery. God in giving instructions to the Israelites in the book of Exodus 21: 10-11 had instructed that if a man marries another woman, the following rights of the first wife should not be denied her which are clothing, food and marital responsibility. Denial of any of this, God says is enough reason for the woman to move on. Could that be the case with this woman which probably explains why Jesus pronounced her free from the sin she obviously committed.

The act of adultery, like many other similar acts remain unacceptable to God but man must ensure that they have enough facts to back up such claims and accusations so as to avoid the shameful and embarrassing situation that the Pharisees and the scribes found themselves in. Going by the events before Jesus Christ, they were either ignorant of the specifics of the event or were deliberately mischievous in order to achieve a pre-determined but negative goal.

Jesus revealed also that the law is made for man and not man for law (Mk. 2:27) and thus wanted the Pharisees to leave the judgement of the law to the law giver – Jms. 4:12. Christians need to remember always that God does not see things the way men see it (Is. 55:8) and really the judgement of men should not bother them as much as that of God. Many have brought on themselves unnecessary challenges because of their desire to implement judgement on someone for an act they see as transgression of the laws of God. The fact remains that it is God’s laws and not theirs so they will be safer if they leave the judgement based on those laws to the law giver to avoid the embarrassment that the Pharisees and the scribes got when they attempted playing the role of a judge. The Bible in the book of John 8:9, said their conscience convicted them as they left one by one from the oldest to the last until no one was left. They actually came in one way and left in several ways, covered in disgrace and shame – Deut. 28:7.

Why bring unnecessary shame and disgrace on yourself. The act may be wrong and in this case was obviously wrong but the law giver is the only one that decides the guilty one. Avoid acquiring unnecessary loads but if you have already found yourself in it, there is always room at the feet of the cross for the repentant sinner. Go to Him in soberness and He will surely forgive and end your disgrace by releasing His Grace to you in Jesus name. Amen.

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