Adulterous Woman



VERSE 3- 5: “The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”

The scribes and Pharisees were not wrongly accusing this adulterous woman, but their purpose was not to justify the law, because they did not bring the man, who had also broken the law. It required both be stoned to death (Lev. 20:10).

The Romans did not permit the Jews to carry out executions.

If He had ordered her stoned, the scribes and the Pharisees would have reported Him to the Romans. If He had said she should not be stoned they would accuse Him of breaking Moses’ law.

VERSE 6: “This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.”

There is no reason to debate what He may have written, or to think it was mistakenly left out of the Scripture.

VERSE 7: “And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Jesus said that only the sinless were worthy of casting the first stone.

While we as Christians cannot condone sin, judgment is God’s role. We should pray, offer guidance, and show compassion.

VERSES 8-9: “And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.”

Jesus once again seemed to write something on the ground with only the adulterous woman standing before Him, and again we are not told what Jesus wrote.

When Jesus said only the ones without sin were worthy to cast the first stone, they all went away, one by one, beginning with the older ones.

Do you think the older men were wiser or more aware of their sins?

VERSES 10-11: Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

Jesus forgives all sin. He did not condemn the adulterous woman to death.
He openly revealed her sin when He told her “Go, and sin no more.”

This woman had committed a sin that required the death sentence by the Law of God. Jesus, who was also God, had the authority to forgive this woman’s sin.

The death sentence for this woman was a Commandment of God, and not even Jesus could break the Commandment.

Jesus died in her place on the cross fulfilling the requirements of the Law on her behalf.

The adulterous woman’s sin was forgiven by the Almighty God, never to be remembered again. What a wonderful Savior!

Jesus not only died for the sins of this woman. Anyone who accepts Jesus as their Savior can receive complete forgiveness and eternal life. His death on the cross fulfilled the Law.


The story of the woman caught in adultery is a powerful account of our Savior’s wisdom and grace. It is an ancient story referenced by several of the earliest church fathers, and the church has long held that it records an authentic episode from the life of Christ.

The account describes an occasion when the scribes and Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman they had caught in adultery. It takes two people to commit adultery, and if the woman was caught in the act, a man would have been caught too. Where is he? The fact that only the woman is charged shows that these religious leaders were not concerned with the law.

The leaders brought the woman to Jesus to test Him, asking whether they should execute her to fulfill the law. They put Jesus in a predicament. If He were to deny she deserved death, He could be accused of taking the law lightly and might lose much of His Jewish audience. If He were to call for her execution, the religious authorities could complain to the Roman government that Jesus was calling for the Jews to enforce capital punishment reserved to the Romans. Jesus began writing in the dirt, making the leaders wait for Jesus’ answer.


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