Verses 1 – 12
I believe the Pharisees are searching for various ways to trip Jesus up. They mean business in destroying His witness, His influence and His person. Of course we know as we read that they can do nothing without it being a part of God’s timing.
God uses the decisions of men and women to accomplish His purposes.
It behooves me to be on the positive side of that!
V. 9 “Then those who heard it (“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”), being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last.”
I’ve heard that the order of leaving – oldest to youngest – represented the years of sinning. The older one is, the more time in which to have sinned!
They left until Jesus, alone, was standing, He being the only One without sin.
And the woman, who so desperately needed a Savior, remained.
Jesus does not condemn the adulterous woman for He came not into the world that the world might be condemned but to save us.
Jesus’ encounters with women are so encouraging. He does not discriminate. And although there was plenty of discrimination toward women in those days, He does not share in that attitude nor behavior. In fact, Luke 18:9-12 records a traditional Jewish prayer of men which thanks God that he is not like “other men.” Research shows me that the prayer is often recited:
“Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, the King of the world, that thou hast made me an Israelite; (in some books it is, as before, that thou hast not made me a Gentile;) blessed art thou, O Lord our God, the King of the world, that thou hast not made me a servant; blessed art thou, O Lord our God, the King of the world, that thou hast not made me a woman.”
I love that Jesus set women free!
Paul writes to the Galatians, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” Galatians 3:27-28.
Verses 13 – 20
V. 15 “You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.”
I think how many times in my life that I have misjudged someone by what I have seen or heard (by the flesh and in the flesh). We are to judge a tree by its fruit. But I have been guilty of judging another by MY fruit!
In other words, my fruit was jealousy or pride and so my “judgment” was skewed. I know that any time my judgment is rendered when my own heart condemns me, then my judgment is not of truth. I must stay in the Word so that I more clearly see my own heart before I judge the heart of another.
I’ve heard it said that we often judge ourselves by our intentions while judging others based on their actions!
The crux of this chapter for me is portrayed in these words of Christ Jesus:
"If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" John 8:31-32.
Walk in freedom and carry on!