One of the most well-known verses in all of Scripture is found in John 8:1-12, most commonly referred to as the passage about “the woman caught in adultery.” Though her name is unknown, her sin is well documented. To the biblically literate, her story is as familiar as it is powerful. One minute, she is enjoying a passionate illicit rendezvous with a lover. The next minute, she is before a kangaroo court with her life hanging in the balance. One Man, stooped on the ground, seems to hold her fate in His hands. A group of men, self-proclaimed executioners, await His verdict. And off in the safe distance, barely visible and barely dressed – is her hidden lover. Equally guilty. Completely uncaught. The story represents all of mankind. Before a loving God, we are either the hidden man or the caught woman. We hide in pride or repent in humility. Which are you?
Below is my perspective of the caught woman. Click here for the possible perspective of the hidden man.
I just wanted someone to love me. I don’t even like sex anymore.
Please. Please don’t take me to the square. Please. I’ll do anything you ask.
Wait, where did he go? Why are they just taking me? I knew he didn’t love me. I knew it.
Now early in the morning Jesus came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery.
Is that Jesus? Is that the man they’ve been talking about? What is He going to say? What will He do to me? If He really is who they say He is…what can He do to me?
And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him.
I didn’t mean to hurt anyone. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.
Please, please drop the stones. Please don’t do this.
But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
What is He doing? What is He writing?
So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself upand said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”
I know some of these men. I’ve been with some of these men. Catching the eye of one, you are not sinless and you know it. Right, look away from me. Look away as if I disgust you, as if you’ve never known me fully. As if what we’ve done wouldn’t break your wife’s heart. As if you never told me you loved me in the heat of the moment. Look away.
And again Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground.
Why is He looking at me now while He’s writing? Please do something, Jesus. Please stop them. Is that a smile on his face?
Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
Jesus, thank you. Thank you. I’m so sorry. I’ll never do it again.
And as she began walking home, she saw a man who had once propositioned her, and even though it had only been moments, she felt a tug toward him, her heart still miles away from being fully healed. But then she looked back over her shoulder to Jesus, and whispered to herself, Go and sin no more, and she kept walking, cloaked in grace that felt new and sustaining and like the love that she had been looking for all along.
So be encouraged, sweet ones, no matter your circumstances today, no matter what you’ve done, no matter what you might be doing..…Jesus offers that same grace to you. Right now. In full.
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