Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area, and all the people started coming to him, and he sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle. They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him. Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”
The story of the adulterous woman caught in flagrante delicto presents Jesus as a merciful judge and savior, in contrast to the judgmental scribes and Pharisees. The issue is not the right application of the Law but rather the move of Jesus’ detractors to shame him before the people using the poor woman. They do not bring in her partner in crime, nor is there mention of the aggrieved husband. Jesus exposes their scheme and the crowd’s inmost thoughts when he declares, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Nobody can stand Jesus’ challenge, and the people go away one by one. Only Jesus can truly say, “Can any of you charge me with sin?” (Jn 8:46).
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: