Have you noticed how social media has opened the floodgates on judging others? It seems that we are constantly judging or being judged. How many likes did I get? What do others think about me? This is nothing new. In Jesus’ time, people judged and were judged, but not online. Their method was to bring the accused before the teachers of the Law.
One day, at dawn, people gathered around Jesus in the Temple courts to listen to His teaching. Suddenly Jesus was interrupted. The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and pushed her in front of Jesus. They wanted to stone her to death, but they had an ulterior motive too (v. 5). They wanted to trap Jesus with their questions.
The Romans did not allow the Jews to carry out death sentences, so if Jesus approved her stoning, He would conflict with the Romans. If he said not to stone her, He could have been accused of not supporting the Law.
When Jesus bent down to write in the sand, they kept questioning Him. After His response in verse seven, He bent down again and wrote something else. After a long pause, everyone walked away, leaving just Jesus and the woman. He told her, since they did not condemn her, He wouldn’t either (v. 11). He gave her a second chance, saying, “Go now and leave your life of sin” (v. 11). Jesus did not judge or excuse the woman, He offered something better: forgiveness. He offers that to you and me today.
>> Too often we are quick to judge and condemn others. When we are tempted to find fault and declare someone’s worth, particularly in public shaming, Jesus shows us another way. We, too, have sinned. We all need forgiveness. He has also given us a second chance. Make sure you are giving others a second chance as well.
Forgive us for treasuring up anger and grievances against the people who rub us the wrong way. Give us Your perspective on the people we resent—and on the sources of our resentment. Help us treat others better than ourselves.