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John’s gospel blog 43: Stone

December 7, 2013

“Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself” Eric Clapton – before you accuse me ( from the album “Journeyman”)

John 8:1 -11

Now here’s an interesting story. Most Bibles tell us that this incident does not occur in many early manuscripts.

But here it is.

So we’d better read it and see what we make of it.

Yet again Jesus is talking. It really strikes me time and again in reading this gospel that there is an awful lot of talking going on. So here we go again.

But in case we are now getting complacent the seminar is interrupted.

It’s the teachers of the law and Pharisees again. This time with a woman – presumably in a state of disarray as they have just caught her in the act. Of adultery.

And THAT is a stoning offence.

It says so in God’s law book (Leviticus 20).

There’s some odd stuff going down here though.

See it is impossible for adultery to be committed on your own. It takes two to tango!

So why just the woman, because God’s law book said both guilty parties should be put to death? Now whether we feel comfortable with that is of course one thing, but here we have a discrimination of the worst kind. How the Pharisees caught them at it is one thought. But they are very selective. Only the woman is to be brought to book. You wonder was the man one of their own?

It’s a test of course. Another attempt to trip up the troublesome travelling teacher.

Finally Jesus is speechless. He doodles in the dust of the floor. Now what’s he doing. “Maybe we’ve got him cornered”.

The scribbling stops.

The silence is broken.

“OK chaps here’s the deal. This woman needs to be punished. Step forward. If. You’re perfect. If you have never done anything wrong. Blameless. Sinless. Come on then if you’re perfect enough. Throw the first stone”

I actually expect at that point some holier than thou Pharisee to step forward with the biggest rock he can find, but wait a minute.

There’s the sound of footsteps. Retreating steps. The room is emptying fast. Not one man can stand in the presence of the Son of God and plead “not guilty”.

In one fell swoop, a question of genius, GUILTY AS CHARGED.

But what of the woman? Now she is with the Son of God. The perfect one. The one who is qualified to take her life. It can’t be a happy ending can it?

“Who’s accusing you now?”

“Um err no one…”

Now for the punchline:

“I’m not accusing you either – on your way”.

“But change your ways. Don’t live this way anymore”.

Pharisees shown up.

Woman set free.

Life changed.

What would an encounter with Jesus mean for you?

Forgiveness? Yes.

A command to live a different life? Definitely.

In Jesus we find forgiveness. But he calls us to be different people. To change our ways. To change direction. To follow him.


From → Christianity

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  1. Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman | Potencial Millonario

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