John 8:1-11 A Close Brush With Death; A Second Chance

by | May 15, 2024 | John, New Testament

V. 1 Chapter divisions are not inspired. This probably belongs at the end of chapter 7.

V. 2 Jesus rose early to teach the people. It was part of His mission. As a teacher, he sat, they stood.

Vs. 3, 4 What an awkward and unusual thing to catch someone in the act of adulterous intercourse.
At the least, they were peeping toms and voyeurs; at most, this was a set-up, designed to trap Jesus.
They may have found a willing man to commit adultery, and promised to not prosecute him.

They interrupted Jesus’ time of teaching, and brought this woman before Him. It was a scene.
They announced that she was, without any doubt, guilty of adultery. They had seen it.

They were careful to have multiple witnesses, according to Mosaic Law. (Old Testament Law)
Deuteronomy 19:15 “One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established”.

V. 5 They, along with all Israel, understood the severity of the sin of adultery, a capital offense.
Deuteronomy 22:22 22“If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then both of them shall die—the man that lay with the woman, and the woman; so you shall put away the evil from Israel.

NOTE- The leaders sought to set Jesus against Moses. Moses said this…what do YOU say?
J. Vernon McGee– They didn’t really want to stone the woman. They wanted to stone Him.

These religious rulers were insincere in why they were doing this, and they were in error.

  • Where was the man? He was just as guilty as the woman.
  • Jesus didn’t have religious or civil authority to execute judgment.
  • Jesus wasn’t a religious ruler over the nation; Rome didn’t permit Jews capital punishment

V. 6 These religious hypocrites thought they had Jesus caught in a dilemma.

  • If He says “stone her”, He comes across as harsh, not gracious, and as opposing Rome.
  • If He says “let he go”, He comes across as disobeying the Law as given by Moses.

But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
This is the only record of Jesus writing anything.
He didn’t respond directly to the accusers. He didn’t make eye contact with the woman.

We don’t know what Jesus wrote, but when confronted, He usually responded with Scripture.
Exodus 20:14 “You shall not commit adultery. (7th commandment)
Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” (10th)
Psalm 90:8 8 You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.
Jeremiah 17:13 13 O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake You shall be ashamed. “Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters.”

Some suggest that Jesus began to write down the names of women those men sinned with, either by way of fornication, adultery, or lust.
V. 7 Deuteronomy 17:6, 7 Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness. 7The hands of the witnesses shall be the first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So you shall put away the evil from among you.

Jesus is not saying that we need to be perfect before we pass judgment on someone.
1 Corinthians 5 says that we should pass judgment on those within the church. (Church discipline)
Jesus said in John 7:24 that judgment should be done with right judgment.

Matthew 7:3-5. We need to judge ourselves first, and then we can speak into other people’s lives.

These men were hypocrites.
They had either actually committed the sin of adultery, or had coveted another man’s wife.

Matthew 5:27, 28 27“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.28But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Exodus 23:1 Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous (malicious) witness.

V. 8 Psalm 50:16-18 16 But to the wicked God says: “What right have you to declare My statutes, or take My covenant in your mouth, 17 Seeing you hate instruction and cast My words behind you? 18 When you saw a thief, you consented with him, and have been a partaker with adulterers.

V. 9 The older leaders realized their hypocrisy more quickly, or Jesus wrote about their sins first.
They may have realized that they were malicious witnesses, intent on killing Jesus.
NOTE- Eventually, this is where we will all end up. Standing alone in the presence of Jesus.

V. 10 Woman- Jesus doesn’t call her prostitute, or home wrecker.
He used the same term with which he spoke to his mother in John 2. Woman- A term of respect.
In John 19, while hanging on the cross, He would say it again to His own mother.

Jesus gave this woman dignity in front of this crowd.
The accusers had departed. The witnesses that had the lawful ability to condemn her had gone.

V. 11 Jesus did not have the civil power to condemn her and carry out the judgment.
Her accusers were gone. There was no legal way to bring capital punishment. Jesus obeyed the law.
Jesus didn’t go easy on her. She was not 100% a victim. She had consented to the adultery.

go and sin no more-
He didn’t say, “Your sins are forgiven of you”.
He didn’t say, “Go in peace”.
He didn’t say, “You’ve done nothing wrong”.
He did say, “Go, but stop this habitual lifestyle of sin that you are living in”.

The actions of Jesus resulted in no earthly condemnation, and no heavenly condemnation, but also (probably) produced in the woman a strong sense of shame over sin and gratitude about mercy.

This woman had a close brush with death, and hopefully, changed her life, and believed in Jesus.
The religious leaders felt momentary conviction of sin, but didn’t repent, and went on to kill Jesus