Where Are Your Accusers?
Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir”, she said. John 8:10 NIV
She knew it was wrong, she knew she shouldn’t go in. She knew that it was against the law and she knew very well what could happen if she was caught. And yet, after looking around to make sure she wasn’t seen, she slipped in through the open door. I don’t know why.
I don’t know what her motives were. Was it loneliness or perhaps desperation? Did she have a family that she needed to feed? Perhaps she simply wanted to feel loved and believed that this was how to do that.
Whatever her motives were they were stronger than the fear of the law. And she proceeded.
Then suddenly, her worst fears became reality. There was confusion, and shouting, and hands grabbing at her. She was being violently carried away, dragged by force to the temple courts.
She screamed and begged and pleaded but no one would listen. She knew it was no use. She had been caught and the penalty for her sin was death.
She was taken into the temple courts where a crowd of people were already assembled. They seemed to be listening to one of the teachers teach. She knew what awaited her, death by stoning.
She struggled but could not get free. She was violently thrust into the middle of them. All of their eyes piercing her soul, all of them casting judgment upon her for what she had been caught doing. She trembled.
Her sin was announced for all to hear; now everyone knew. The shame washed over her like a lead blanket and fear gripped her heart. But the man in the center of the crowd, the man they called Jesus, did the queerest thing. He simply, calmly and unemotionally, bent down and began writing in the sand.
What was he writing? Her heart raced and she held her breath as silence fell over the crowd. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees were as confused as she was. They questioned Jesus repeatedly, demanding his answer to their questions.
After what seemed like an eternity, He stood up, and quietly said:
If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.
And then, he simply bent down again and began writing in the sand once more. She held her breath, her heart beat so hard in her chest she thought it would explode.
She tensed every muscle waiting for the first stone to hit. And then the most amazing thing happened. One by one, they all walked away, until there was no one left but her and Jesus. She stood motionless, trembling, waiting.
Finally, he turned to her and asked:
Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?
She could hardly speak her answer, she whispered:
No one, sir.
Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.
I can only imagine what she felt at that very moment. Can you? I have been there. Have you? I have been forgiven and saved from death. Have you?
Open your Bible and turn to the book of John, chapter 8. Read this story in its entirety. Try to put yourself in her shoes and write down the emotions which might be going through her heart.
You can change the sin, if you want – the story remains the same. Write down how you think she felt when people began to walk away and how she felt when she heard him say: “neither do I condemn you.”
Dear Lord, thank You just doesn’t even begin to come close to expressing my gratitude to You for what You did for me on the cross. It is my pleasure to serve You in all that I do. Help me to remember this story the next time I hear of another’s sin. Help me to feel what this woman felt and to remember that I have no right to throw a stone because I too have sinned. Melt the heart of every person reading this today, and help them to know that they too are forgiven and loved by You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
© 2017 by Kathy Sweeny. All rights reserved.
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