Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Adulteress

"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.  Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest Thou? This they said, tempting Him, that they might have to accuse Him."  John 8:3-5

This event occurred during the Feast of Tabernacles.  According to some who have made study of the matter, many booths would have been erected all around the city of Jerusalem in accordance with the Biblical mandate given to Israel.  In this type of environment, such an act of adultery would be easy to imagine.  It is also not difficult to understand how the offenders could have been easily caught.

The scribes and Pharisees were not interested in true justice, nor were they intent upon the vindication of God's holiness.  They had one goal in mind, to condemn the Son of God.  At this point in history, the Jews were not a free nation.  They were under Roman law.  According to John 18:31, it was not lawful for the Jews to condemn people to death.  This could be done only be the Roman governor.  On the other hand, God commanded Israel that an adulterer and an adulteress should both be stoned (Le. 20:10).  With these facts in view, the Jews apparently believed that they could trap Christ into going against either the Roman law or the law of the Old Testament.

"But Jesus stooped down, and with His finger wrote on the ground, as though He heard them not."  John 8:6

These enemies of Christ were intent upon trapping Him and forcing Him to break either Roman law or God's Law.  The only problem was they had already broken God's Law themselves.  Isaiah 66:2 says "...but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word."  God is nigh to the one who humbles himself before his Maker.  These men were full of arrogance and contempt for the things of God.  In them lie the chiefest of sins, Pride.  They were guilty themselves of spiritual adultery against the things of God.  Idols of self-righteousness, cruelty, and covetousness ruled in their hearts; thus they soon would find that they themselves were condemned.

Notice the lack of concern that God shows toward such hypocrisy.  God is not taken back by the lame attempts of man to muddy the holy character of God.  He is no man's debtor.  He knows the hearts of all.  Christ shows great poise and sobriety by simply ignoring their fleshly trickery.  He does not answer them according to the expectations of their folly but simply writes on the ground in contempt of all their vile plans.

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