The Woman Taken in Adultery
(John 8:1-11)

Rev. Jim Bogle, given August 17, 2008

John 3:16-17

16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17: For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

It is interesting how many people think that Jesus Christ was sent into this world to be a finger pointer; that he came into this world to criticize lifestyles, dress, entertainment, and a host of other things that the human flesh loves to be involved in.

And yet, in Christ’s own words he said, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

You see God already knew our sad and sinful condition before his Son ever came to be the Savior of the World.  He knew that we were callous, hardhearted, and stiff-necked. And yet his Son came into this world anyway. But he didn’t come to judge, or to condemn, he came to save!

A perfect example of this truth is found a few Chapters down in this book of John.

John 8:1-2

1: Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

2: And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

Here is the Creator of all things coming to His temple; coming not to judge the people, nor condemn the people, but to encourage, strengthen, and give hope to “whosoever would come to him.”

And we note, the Scripture says, “all the people came unto him.” They came willingly, and he began to teach them.

Did you know that this is the only way you can get into heaven, by freely coming to Christ on your own? Christ makes himself available, but you must come to him.

Matthew 11:28

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

And here Christ is in the Temple, and the people come to him, and He shares with them the wonderful truths of the Kingdom of God. What peace and quiet there is in the presence of Christ!

Isaiah 26:3

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

What kind of peace are you experiencing this morning! Christ can bring peace and quiet to an otherwise turbulent and stressful heart, when we come to Him in prayer or quiet meditation. He is the Prince of Peace!

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Now you can find temporary peace in this world from any number of things.

You might find temporary peace in alcohol,

You might find temporary peace in drugs,

You might find temporary peace in sex, or money, or power or worldly relationships, but you will never find the eternal peace of heart that only Christ can bring until you are willing to come to him.

Here in our text this morning, Christ has come to the Temple to teach, and the people have come to him, and as he teaches, a wonderful peace rests upon the assembly.

And then we come to verse 3.

John 8:3-4

3: And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

4: They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

Let me stop right here for a second. They didn’t just escort this woman down the street. They pushed her, shoved, and threw her headlong down in the midst of this Sunday school class gathering, and announced, before everybody, her sin. They showed this woman no compassion or mercy whatsoever. They publicly humiliated this woman and demanded that Christ judge her.

By the way, Christian Brother or Sister, the devil tries to do this very same thing to you and I every day. He daily accuses us before the throne of God. And I’m so thankful that Christ stands at the right hand of the majesty on high and declares our innocence before a Holy God.

Hebrews 7:25

[Jesus] “is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

Are we deserving of God’s intercession? NO!

We deserve the cross, but Christ took that judgment for us, that we might one day walk eternally in the coolness of day with HIM.

Yes! Satan judges – And he uses, many times, the arrogant and self-righteous religious people to do his bidding. So here come the scribes and the Pharisee with this woman, and they throw her down in the midst of the people.   

John 8:4-7

4: They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

5: Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

6: This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him.

Keep in mind that there is a great audience gathered around Christ. It’s the very audience that he has been teaching. And now he is forced to deal with this group of hypocrites and respond to an obvious attempt to trap him in a contradiction.

If he says, take her and stone her in accordance with the law, those who know him to be a man of great mercy and compassion, a man who had healed many, and cast out demons, a man who has taught them the great principles of mercy and forgiveness, will now no doubt bring upon himself great discredit. The people will no longer trust him, nor believe him to be the true voice of the LORD.

But on the other-hand, if he says, “No, the woman should not be stoned.” then he would be openly contradicting the Law of Moses, and likewise be at odds with the Jewish authorities, and He could be legitimately arrested for such a public violation.

What is he to do?

7: But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

Now some believe that he began to write the Ten Commandments, just as he had written them before on Mount Sinai, with his finger.

Exodus 31:18

And [God] gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

And so there are those that believe Christ was writing, again with his finger in the sand, the Ten Commandments.

And then, on the other-hand, Christ could have been writing out all of the grievous sins committed by these self-appointed judges.

Revelation 20:12

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

My friends, every sin we’ve ever committed is written down in heaven. And it will remain there as witness against us in God’s great day of judgment, unless, we come to Christ and receive his forgiveness of our sins.

These self-appointed judges are willing to judge, but not be judged! So Christ may have been writing down specific violations of the law committed by these men, making them ineligible to judge any man or woman.

Or, as recorded in the Book of Daniel, when God wrote on the wall of the great palace of Beltshazar, “though hast been weighted in the balances and found wanting.” Christ could have been exposing the sinfulness of these men, just as they had been so anxious to expose the sins of this woman.

Whatever Christ was writing in the sand, it exposed these men, convicted their hearts, and turned them away from their intended act of judgment.

John 8:7-9

7: So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8: And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

9: And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

The leader of the pack was the first to drop his stones on the ground and walk away. After him followed the rest, one by one, dropping their stones as they went.

“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.”

Not one of them was eligible to judge her, for they were all guilty of sin in one way or another.

Romans 3:23

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 5:12

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Someone might say, “Well I’ve never committed adultery.”  But you know what, Christ says,

Matthew 5:28

I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

This is merely to say, that what our sinful bodies have not embraced physically, our sinful mind has entertained, and we are still guilty of sin.

We, every one of us, are in need of a Savior.

These men wanted to judge the woman, and they wanted to judge the Lord, but they found out that judging others can be an embarrassing business. They dropped their stones and walked away.

All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

And now, here she is, all alone before the true judge of all the earth.

And this is the way it will be for every soul one day.

Every one of us will stand before Christ some day.

The unsaved to hear Christ say, “depart from me, I never knew you.”

The saved to give an account of their service to Christ and to others. And hopefully to hear Christ say to them,

Matthew 25:21

Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Every one of us will stand before Christ some day.

John 8:10-11

10: When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

She was guilty of committing adultery, and the men who brought her to Jesus were right. The Law demanded that such a one should be stoned to death.

But Christ said to her, “Woman hath no man condemned thee?”

11: She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

All sin must be judged. Her sin was deserving of judgment. But you see, Christ took her sin of adultery upon his own body and carried that sin straight up the hill to Calvary, where his shed blood was poured out for her and for all that would seek forgiveness in Christ’s name.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

This promise is for the Christian, and the Christian alone. This promise is not for the unbelieving, or the unsaved.

The promise to the unsaved is found in John 3:18.

John 3:18

18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

What is it that God expects of us today? Does he expect us to be judges? Does He expect us to walk around condemning one another?


Micah 6:8

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

And my friend I tell you – there is no way that you will ever meet this simple requirement without having the presence of God’s Spirit dwelling within. And there is no way that you can have the presence of God’s Spirit, without first committing your life to Christ Jesus.

Acts 2:38

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

John 8:12

12: Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.