“The Woman Taken in Adultery” – Truth2Freedom’s Blog

Truth 2 Freedom’s blog has a great essay up today on The Woman Taken in Adultery.

I suggest going to the link above and reading the entire essay. Here is just a portion of what is written there:

Sin’s Horror

First, the story reveals sin’s horror. And, of course, I do not mean the sin of the woman. I mean the sin of the rulers. Adultery is sin, certainly. The woman was guilty of adultery. But compared to the sin of the men who were using her in an attempt to trap Jesus, her sin was minimal—a mote in her eye compared to the beams that were in their eyes (Matt. 7:1–5).

To understand precisely what these men were doing we must understand that not only was their approach to Jesus a trap; they actually had already been active in trapping the woman. In fact, it could hardly be otherwise, on the basis of their testimony and in light of the very exacting requirements of Jewish law in this and other capital cases. Under Jewish law, as it was practiced by the rabbis in the time of Christ and later, it was necessary to have multiple witnesses to the act of intercourse before the charge of adultery could be substantiated, and even this was to be under the most exacting of circumstances. Thus, as one scholar points out, “There is absolutely no question of [the witnesses] having seen the couple in a ‘compromising situation,’ for example, coming from a room in which they were alone, or even lying together on the same bed. The actual physical movements of the couple must have been capable of no other explanation, and the witnesses must have seen exactly the same acts at exactly the same time, in the presence of each other, so that their dispositions would be identical in every respect.”

Under these conditions the obtaining of evidence in adultery would be almost impossible were the situation itself not a setup. We are justified in supposing that the liaison had been arranged, perhaps by the very man who committed adultery with the woman. Was he a member of the Sanhedrin? Whatever the case, the arrangement must have involved the posting of witnesses in the room or at the keyhole.

We see the horror of the sin of these men in another way too. For the fact that only the woman was brought to Jesus reveals their dishonesty. If adultery could be proved only by the testimony of witnesses who had seen the couple in the very act of adultery and if this is what the rulers were claiming, as they were, where then was the man in the story? Why was he not brought with the woman? At the least, the rulers allowed the man to escape. At the worst, the man had been in on the plotting and had been granted immunity beforehand. How horrible! Yes, but it is only the old case of the double standard that exists still today. Men should take their stand with the women in such cases, confessing their share of the guilt, which is usually greater anyway. But they do not. The poor woman had to bear the shame alone.

God of Circumstances

The horror of sin is not the only subject these verses introduce, however. They also reveal the mastery by God of all circumstances.

I love that last sentence.  “They also reveal the mastery by God of all circumstances.”

My comment at the link:

Great essay on the encounter with the adulterous woman and how Jesus dealt with it. I learned several new things about this portion of Scripture, especially when you wrote:

Some suggest that this was a symbolic action, intended to remind the accusers of Jeremiah 17:13—“O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust.”

It makes me wonder whether or not any of the accusers in this encounter genuinely saw the need to repent of their sins.   Or, did they just drop the stones because they knew that they were guilty of sin in their lives. The feeling of guilt does not necessarily bring someone to the point where they see their individual need for repentance.

If they were not truly sorrowful for their sins, then what happened was that it probably made them even more bitter towards Jesus for having their sinful guilt pointed out by Him. The prophetic verse of Jeremiah 17:13 applies very well here.

Hat tip:  Truth2Freedom’s Blog

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