Hi everyone and good evening.
This is a truely awesome story from the Bible and I think it is one of the most amazing passages of scripture. For me this is one of those stories among the Gospel accounts that has a [b]special ring of truth[/b] to it above and beyond the others.
First, the answer that the Lord gives is astounding to me. I have some experience with being challenged by people with questions concerning matters of faith and doctrine and practice. You hear all sorts of strange and bizzare things when talking to people about the things of God and the way the Lord dealt with this situation is in my mind just head-and-shoulders above anything in which the way I think a mere human would have responded.
I hessitate to use the word brilliant because its something we say of merely gifted humans, but truely the Lord Jesus shines shines shines in the way he answered them.
What makes this even more significant is what all was on the line here, so to speak. We may tend to think of this as a life and death situation for this woman but it was far more than that! This was an issue upon which rested the salvation of all our souls!
In Luke's Gospel we read how [i]...when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.[/i]
[i]...for a season[/i]
Well, I think that behind the scenes here, he was back, that is, the Devil. Even if that wasn't true I'd say the stakes were the same. John tells us that the Pharisees questioned the Lord Jesus here with regards to this woman, concerning the law of Moses. That's important to keep in mind because at this point in the line of time and space, that Law still stood over all of them. Now the reason I have for suggesting that the Devil was behind all of this was what John records for us next: [i]This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him.[/i] And then it is that we read:
[i] But Jesus stooped down...[/i]
Can you see this brothers and sisters? Let our mind's eye carry us to that scene and see what an epic battle was taking place! I can imagine it this way: there's a huge crowd around because he had been teaching them in the Temple. But behind all this all those wicked hosts are swirling around in the air, maybe even lurking around in the crowd that is surrounding our Lord and Master, seething in hatred against the Son of God....drooling even, if such could drool, in their evil lusts, hoping that this would be the time they could make Him falter.
Ohh this was a tense moment for sure. I bet every eye was on Him and every ear open, waiting to see how he'd respond to this question. It would be enough to think of the pressure from the crowd, but then what must it have been like if all those demonic hordes were pressing in on Him too? Surely the force of it would be other-wordly, in pressure upon the mind and the soul.
Well that's it. Everything is on the line here. If He answers amiss in any way, we're done for as a race. Remember brothers and sisters how it was written that He [i]was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.[/i] This was such a point. You know, it isn't so much thought of, if we give a false answer, or stumble in our words. No, we recognise that it happens among us all. But not so with Him beloved. He could not speak even one solitary word amiss. He spoke for Heaven. But not only this, He was not merely a man to whom the word of God had come, He was the Word of God come to men, Himself. And now, those [i]experts[/i] in God's Law were seeking to trap Him. If He spoke falsely, the same Law which He came to satisfy and fulfil would have risen up to condemn.
It is with all that, with all that and the weight of the whole world resting upon His shoulders that we read
[i]But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.[/i]
My my, what a moment in time. I don't know brothers and sister, I don't know, but I would not think it was strange if the Lord felt the press of it all. I would not find it hard to imagine if, in this colossal moment, that in stooping down, He was drawing upon every ounce of supernatural strength within Him? I do not know.
But then comes the answer. And the victory!
[i] He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.[/i]
What an answer! Who could have thought of such a thing in such a moment?? Ohh this is a beautifull thing, but do you know brothers and sisters, that these gracious words encapsulated the essence of the work of the Son of God?
Long long before this, right before Moses was to recieve the Ten Commandments from God for the second time, he made a sort of peculiar request of God. He said
[i]I beseech thee, shew me thy glory[/i]
And God's reply to him according to the scripture was this
[i]I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.[/i]
So you see, Moses asked to see God's glory, and God said He would make all His [i]goodness[/i] pass before him, and proclaim the name of the Lord. Now you may recall that this is when it was that God took and hid Moses in the cleft of a rock and passed before him?
So, when Moses goes up on Mount Sinai to meet with God, carrying this time two stone tables which he had made, this is when the Lord passes before him, and He tells him the name of the Lord:
"The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation."
But how can that be?
How can God [i]forgive iniquity[/i] and yet [i]by no means clear the guilty[/i]? You may ask it another way:
Where do mercy and truth meet together?
Can righteousness and peace, ever kiss?
How can God be both just, and the justifier of those that are gulity?
Ohh beloved, see here how Jesus answers all these in His response to this tremendous challenge?
He says, [i]Woman, where are those thine accusers?[/i] [i]hath no man condemned thee?[/i]
Do we see it? Well here it is, you see, His answer to all of this evil plotting and work of the adversary, it was both [b]mercifull[/b] and [b]just[/b]. It was just, in that He did not deny the justice of God's law...no He said [i]He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.[/i] That is, whichever one among [b]YOU[/b] that is without sin, that is not also condemned by the Law, you may excecute the justice of God's law upon her.
No, He did not deny the righteous demands of God's law.
But then His answer was mercifull also. He said to her [i] hath no man condemned thee?... Neither do I condemn thee[/i]. Surely He could have. He could have picked up any of those stones which they left behind, and executed justice, He being without sin, Himself, without a guilty conscience to condemn Him.
Righteousness, and peace, here they have kissed.
Thankyou Lord Jesus. Thank You.
Brother, I don't know what the Lord wrote on the ground :-) But, whatever it was, He did all things well :-)
Christopher Joel Dandrow