John 8:3--11, Leviticus 19:15 Deuteronomy 22:23--24, Matthew 5:17

Many may have heard of the story of the woman whom Jesus excused of being stoned, but WHY did He let her go? Were the ruling Pharisees and scribes not correct, in that the Law told them to stone an adulterer?

There are two things at play, here, neither of which was that Jesus was somehow ‘setting aside the Law’. Let’s face it: The rulers of that time would have thrilled to take Jesus right then to trial, had they had reason to believe that He was an advocate for doing way with the Law. In Matthew 5:17, Jesus even tells us, straight-out: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” So, there is definitely something else going on in this passage with the adulterer brought before Him.

Scripture says that the Pharisees were tempting Him (trying to trip Him up), when in John 8:4-5 they said, “Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?” Jesus acted as though He hadn’t heard them, allowing them to stew in their rage and deceipt, until finally He said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” At this, the accusers were convicted by their own conscience, and dropped their challenge. Eventually, Jesus asked the woman where her accusers had gone, those who sought to condemn her, and then said, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”

Now, I could give you a cookie-cutter sermon, and start talking to you about grace, and how Jesus (some time after that event) died on the Cross as a sacrifice for your sins. And that would be true. But let’s look at the WHY Jesus excused this woman’s sin at that point in time.

In Deuteronomy 22:23–24, the Old Testament law written by Moses, divinely inspired of God, it describes the punishment for the man who sleeps with a woman betrothed, and for her if she doesn’t cry for help. “Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die.”

So, this is the FIRST error of the Pharisees who wanted to ensnare Jesus: They brought ONLY the woman involved in the act of adultery. Perhaps because it was easy to do; perhaps because they were friends of the man involved in the act. We don’t know, but we know that they were indeed well versed in the old Laws; they just didn’t follow them truthfully.

But now, let’s come to the SECOND reason why I think Jesus excused her sin at that very point in time. This is the one that directly applies to US, today. The Israelites of that day lived in a society ruled by one of the most brutal and hedonistic ever to come upon the world: the Roman Empire. Underneath that, the ecclesiastical ruling order (those very scribes and Pharisees) literally every day looked the other way at all the great and many sins of their Roman overlords. And not just because they had no choice. No, they did so because the Romans let them have their ruling priesthood, which the Romans used to help keep their tyrannical order in place.

The Pharisees were guilty of adulterating God’s society. Rather than faithfully instituting His laws, they used them as a cover for their own excess. They had become enamored of the pursuit of power, and accustomed to having the people fear them as much as the brutal and godless Romans.

Brothers and sisters, this is the lesson for today. Because whether you want to admit it or not, most of the churches of our day have fallen into the same lust for power or money, and the comfort of having their congregations revere them…even in a time when they are doing the bidding of a secular and brutal government. I’m speaking to you, America; not just the rest of the world. We cannot look upon the last two years, and how easily the churches have done the bidding of cruel and corrupt politicians, by shutting down and/or enforcing bodily medical tyranny …or staying open, but essentially removing themselves from the just political fight (which IS a religious fight).

Jesus wants you to be free. And the testimony of His walk in the flesh 1000 years ago, is of a King who has little willingness to suffer the legalists who use the Law as cover for their greater sin of acquiescence, or an all-consuming lust for wealth and power.

Peace be with you. In the name of our most mighty Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, amen.

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