Let us get to the “nitty gritty” of this passage immediately. In the Old Testament we had been told that those committing adultery should be stoned. This was to be a controlling factor under the law. (Leviticus 20)
Obviously, this enforcement lessened quickly, because we read of people who indulged and were not stoned. We also know that some of the great leaders were not held to accountability. It appears that this might well have been the practice when this account took place, and the reason the Scribes and Pharisees felt justification for placing her “in the center of the court”. Besides, she was caught in the “very act”. Nothing is said concerning the person with whom she was engaged.
Though this story does not exist in all of the early manuscripts, it has an air of legitimacy as to having taken place. I feel comfortable in referring to it because of the entire content on this subject.
Having brought her to this place and moment, we see her accusers presenting their case. Personally, I see them using an opportunity to build a case against Jesus, not so much as against the woman.
One of the most significant moments of Jesus’ ministry was what He did next; He stooped and wrote with His finger in the sand. Much has been jostled about the words written, but we have not been allowed to know with certainty exactly what was written. We are so enamored with such that we would have retained the very sand in which He wrote and weaker individuals, religious or not, would try to use it in their weakness, to worship it more than the Saviour, JESUS!
Not to have their stupidity and power of superiority revealed, they persisted with questions. However, our Savior says simply: “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then, He stooped and continued writing.
As they thought on the comments He had delivered, “they began to go out one by one. Beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.”
The sweetest words that a sinner probably hears are these: “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” In that moment we see the epitome of GRACE!
Jesus elaborates on His ability to perform what He did: “I am the light of the world: he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
Those words from the lips of our Savior, the only one who could speak them, “I and the Father are ONE!” He says to those present, and the same to us: “…If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (Matthew 8:1 – 32)