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John25 – hidden agenda

In fact at dawn, he arrived again into the temple. And all the laity was coming, and, seated, he was teaching them. (John 8: 2)
At this stage in the life of Jesus, around AD 30, it has become clear that the Jerusalem religious authorities want to take him and put him away. The general public know this but are divided as to who he really is. Unafraid he returns to the Jerusalem temple, sits down and continues his teaching. 

In fact the scribes and the Pharisees brought to him a woman overcome in adultery. And, having stood her in the middle, they stated to him, testing him, “Teacher, this woman was overcome she herself actually being adulterous. In fact, in the law Moses commanded us to stone such as these. So what do you state?” In fact they were stating this testing him, in order that they might have reason to accuse him.

One thing is not hidden: the authorities are testing him – John, his biographer, mentions this twice. As authorities they do not intend “to stone” this woman. Instead, she is a pawn to be abused so as, if possible, to bring this man down.

One thing is hidden: the law given through Moses some 1,400 years earlier (which includes the 10 Commandments) in fact read like this, “If a man is found lying with a married woman, then they shall both die; both of them, the man who lay with the woman and the woman also, so you shall purge the evil from Israel.” Since they had found her in flagrente delicto the male would have been found by them at the same time. They didn’t bring him to Jesus.  

In fact Jesus, bending down, was writing with the finger into the ground, not engaging.

“Bending down”? “Writing into the ground”? The LORD God has given the law to Moses (yes, including those 10 Commandments) by writing them on stone. “Not engaging”? When the LORD God stooped down, he engaged only with Moses not with other individuals.

‘Sin is not hurtful because it is forbidden, but sin is forbidden because it is hurtful.’ (Benjamin Franklin, US Founding Father, 1706-1790)
In fact when they persisted asking him, he unbends. He said to them, “The sinless one of you - you put the first stone upon her!”

Now the LORD Jesus “unbends” and engages with all. “The sinless one”? Sometimes suffering folk today claim not to have received closure because the perpetrator of harm to them or their family has not been found, or, if found, had not been convicted or been adequately punished. Are they sinless?

The Jerusalem authorities have not been seen to be in flagrante delicto. They are asking Jesus for justice against another. 

And, bending down again, he wrote into the ground. 

Jesus then allows them time to consider their position before the LORD God in the light of his laws and his 10 commandments. We too still have time today to ponder our position when we require justice – only for others, not for us.

In fact, those hearing and being reproved by their conscience were coming out, one by one, commencing with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone—and the woman, being in the middle. 

Jesus alone remains, bending down. The law of the LORD is doing its work. Decisions are made to come out of Jesus’ presence altogether. The religious authorities know their sin but still won’t admit it.

One person remains. She is denying her sin.  In fact she’s still “in the middle” – exactly where her accusers placed her. This is where the LORD finds her.

In fact Jesus, unbending himself and having perceived no one, only the woman, said to her, “Where are those accusers of yours? No one condemns you.” 

“Unbending himself”? The law through Moses is still there. But Jesus now stands and speaks individually to her. He has come into the world to show her mercy – the mercy of the LORD God, the mercy the Jerusalem authorities would never give her.

‘Mercy is better than vengeance.’ (Greek proverb)
In fact she said, “No one, Lord.” So Jesus said, “Neither do I myself judge you. Depart, and sin no more.”

Her accusers had “condemned” her. She calls him, “Lord”. Jesus doesn’t even “judge” her, let alone “condemn” her. What, then, in fact, is his agenda?

Sinner Syvret

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