I will begin this investigation with a review of John 8: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now, what do you say?’ They were using this question as a trap to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’” (John 8:3-11, emphasis mine)
This passage presents a number of issues that are important to our quest. To fully appreciate these issues though, we have to take off our Nike’s and stand in the ancient sandals of the accused. The first issue that we need to address concerns the Law of Moses.
To which law are the Pharisees appealing? Is it the law that condemns two married people for committing adultery (Leviticus 20:10), or is it the law that condemns a woman for being promiscuous? (Deuteronomy 22:13-21) Limiting our choices to the evidence stated in John 8, it appears that the teachers and Pharisees appealed to the law that condemns a promiscuous woman. I conclude this because (a) the woman was known for her life of sin, (b) stoning is specifically stated in the law for promiscuous women, and (c) an adulterous man is not present nor mentioned in John 8. Given this legal setting, here are four points that warrant further discussion:
Point 1. – When it comes to sexual immorality, God’s Word indicates there is one difference between fornication and adultery. Fornication occurs between unmarried people, whereas adultery occurs when a married person has a sexual experience with someone other than his or her spouse.
When adultery occurs between two married people, the faithful spouses become plaintiffs (that is, the parties seeking restitution). If a single woman is caught having a sexual relationship with a married man, there are still two plaintiffs – the faithful spouse or the next of kin, and the witnesses who caught the pair in the act. This woman was caught in the act of adultery and there was no husband seeking justice. Since there was no mention of an adulterous man in John 8, it appears the witnesses were her plaintiffs.
REMEMBER THIS VERSE
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