Monday 22 March 2010

Bible Book:

"Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." (v.7)

John 8:1-11 Monday 22 March 2010


Jesus was at the Mount of Olives and about to teach the gatheredcrowd when this woman was brought in front of him. The scribes andPharisees deliberately set up this event in order to trap Jesus.But the sin of adultery can not be committed alone, which begs thequestion: why was only one of the offenders brought forward? InJudaism at the time, a woman would have only been stoned underthese circumstances if she was a betrothed virgin, and the lawrequired the execution of both parties not just the woman.

The Romans did not allow the Jews to carry out death sentences,hence the 'trap', so if Jesus had said to stone her he would havebeen in direct conflict with the Romans authorities. But if he hadsaid not to stone the woman he could have been accused of beingunsupportive of the Jewish Law and his own customs. When Jesusbegins to write on the ground we can only imagine what he waswriting... It could have been just him getting on with things, backto work as it were, possibly knowing that the Jews would persistwith their questioning. But Jesus did not rise to the bait.

When Jesus finally gives his questioners an answer: "Let anyoneamong you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her"- it disarms them. It was not the 'yes' or 'no' answer they werelooking for and it was defiantly not a 'maybe'. Since Jesus spokeof throwing stones he could not be accused of not upholding thelaw. But for any of them to start throwing stones each would haveto admit that they were free from sin. And of course, no onecould.

This passage illustrates the strength and effect of Jesus'teachings. And sometimes the effortlessness of it all.

To Ponder

What do you think Jesus was writing in thesand?

Are there occasions when you are quick to 'pointthe finger'? What could you say to God today to help you with thisin the future?

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