John 8:1-11 (ESVST)
1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them.
Jesus is still in Judea on the lat day of the feast of booths. This is towards the end of the last day of the feast after the officers who were sent by the high priest and the Pharisees failed to arrest him since they felt that no one ever spoke like Jesus did. When they reported this to the Pharisees, they were very angry with them. After this all went to each one’s house and Jesus according to the verse above, went instead to the Mount of olives were he spend the night. The Mount of Olives is “the mountain which is east of the city” of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 11:23). Only the half- mile- wide Kidron Valley separates the Holy City from the mountain. In reality there are three distinctly marked, rounded summits on the two- mile ridge:Mount Scopus on the north, the “Mount of Offense” on the south, and the Mount of Olives in the center. The central mountain stands 2,680 feet above sea level, which means that it is about 100 feet higher than the temple area in Jerusalem.
As Jesus came back to the temple in the morning, all the people went to him and he sat down and taught them.
3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “ Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.
The Scribes in the Bible, is a man learned in the Mosaic law and in the sacred writings, an interpreter, teacher. Scribes examined the more difficult and subtle questions of the law; added to the Mosaic law decisions of various kinds thought to elucidate (make something clear) its meaning and scope, and did this to the detriment of religion. Since the advice of men skilled in the law was needed in the examination in the causes and the solution of the difficult questions, they were enrolled in the Sanhedrin; and are mentioned in connection with the priests and elders of the people.
The Pharisees formed part of the three prominent parties of Judaism at the time of Christ — Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes — the Pharisees were by far the most influential. The origin of this strictest sect of the Jews (Ac 26:5) is shrouded in some obscurity, but it is believed the organization came out of the Maccabean revolt (165 BC). There was, however, a group of Jews resembling the Pharisees as far back as the Babylonian captivity.
The name “Pharisee,” which in its Semitic form means “the separated ones, separatists,” first appears during the reign of John Hyrcanus (135 BC). Generally, the term is in the plural rather than in the singular. They were also known as chasidim, meaning “loved of God” or “loyal to God.” They were found everywhere in Palestine, not only in Jerusalem, and even wore a distinguishing garb so as to be easily recognized.
These people brought a woman who was caught in adultery and brought her in the midst meaning that they mad her stand in the middle of the crowd. They then told Jesus that this woman was caught in the act adultery.
5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him.
Now, the law of Moses required that when a man and a woman were caught in adultery, there must first be an eye witness and secondly, both the man and the woman must be arrested and put to death. Except where the woman was an engaged virgin who was caught with a man in the country side where she could not scream for help, in that case, only the man would be stoned. It is however strange that only the woman was brought in.
Another thing is that the law demanded the execution of this woman and also of the man, but Rome had removed capital jurisdiction from Jewish courts, except for temple violations. Thus the Jewish leaders test whether Jesus will reject the law, compromising his patriotic Jewish following, or reject Roman rule, which will allow them to accuse him to the Romans. So, if Jesus said that they must stone her, Jesus would be breaking roman law and they would have gone to the Romans and told them that Jesus had broken their law. If Jesus said that they must not stone her, Jesus would be breaking the law as given by Moses and the Jews would have turned against him.
The scribes and the Pharisees really believed that this time, they had him and there was no way of escaping.
Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground.
After they asked him the question, Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground, it is not clear why he did this. As he was doing this, the scribes and the Pharisees kept on asking him. I can just see how anxious they were that Jesus answer their question because as I said, they really believed that they had him this time and when he took time to answer them, this must’ve made their anxiety go through the roof. Jesus then stood up and said, the one who is without sin among among them, should throw the first stone. He then bent down again and wrote on the ground. As you can see, Jesus is not saying don’t stone her. Jesus is saying, I acknowledge that the woman has sinned but, if you have not sinned, throw the first stone. Is this against Moses law, no, it simply makes it even harder. Remember that Jesus said he is not here to make the law easier or to get rid of it but, he was here to make it worse. This statement just achieved exactly that.
Now, before they could judge and throw stones and condemn this woman, they needed to look at themselves and make sure that they are not guilty of the same or even worse. This ties up with what Jesus said that before you take out a splinter from someone’s eye, remove the log that is in hour eyes. Do not be a hypocrite.
9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.
Clearly they got the message. The older ones will obviously get the message quicker than the young ones and one after the other, they left.
10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “ Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “ Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”]]
Jesus said in John 3 that he was not send so that the world can be condemned through him but rather that the world be saved through him.
John 3:17 (ESVST)
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Jesus then said to the woman that she must go and from now on, sin no more.